Syrian lawmakers want Khaddam to face treason charges
Syrian lawmakers called Saturday for former vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam to face treason charges after his revelations that President Bashar al-Assad threatened former Lebanese premier Rafiq Haririmonths before the latter's murder.
Khaddam, once Syria's No. 2, has left Syria few months ago. On Friday, he told Al Arabiya television from Paris, that Assad himself had threatened Hariri - a claim, which was strongly denied by the Syrian leader.
During a stormy session of parliament, lawmaker Umeima Faddoul said "I ask the Syrian leadership to try him and hold him accountable." Syria's parliament speaker Mahmud al-Abrash said he had been bombarded with phone calls from Syrians demanding that Khaddam be arrested by Interpol. “Abdul-Halim Khaddam lied and betrayed his country,” Faisal Kaltoum, a lawmaker and member of the ruling Baath’s central committee, told al-Jazeera.
"(Khaddam) is the despicable face of the old guard which closed political forums in Syria and threw their members into jail," said the Islamist representative in parliament, Mohammed Habash. At the end of the session the parliament voted unanimously to demand that the government put Khaddam on trial.
Syrian TV also lashed out at Khaddam, saying "Abdel Halim Khaddam has launched from his fancy palace in Paris an attack on his country, confirming what was already known that he had joined anti-Syrian forces in Lebanon." It also spoke about his corruption. "He spoke from his fancy palace about the poor Syrians...he spoke on corruption from a palacae, which of course he was able to buy via his limited income as s senior public servant...."