Lebanese journalist Maria Maalouf charged with inciting sedition

Published April 11th, 2017 - 11:03 GMT
Maalouf's tweets faced heavy criticism, particularly on social media. (twitter)
Maalouf's tweets faced heavy criticism, particularly on social media. (twitter)

 A Lebanese judge Tuesday charged Lebanese journalist Maria Maalouf with inciting sedition and posting remarks that puts the safety of the Lebanese and the country at risk. 

A judicial source told The Daily Star that Beirut Judge Ziad Abu Haidar's verdict carries a maximum sentence of 7 years in jail. 

Abu Haidar then referred the case to Beirut's First Investigative Judge Ghassan Oueidat. He also requested that Maalouf come in for questioning, and that an arrest warrant be issued against her and if she fails to show up. 

Maalouf has so far missed three questioning sessions. 

The Lebanese reporter stirred controversy in March when she called on Israel to assassinate Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a series of tweets.

"If Israel genuinely wants peace, then it should prove it and sign a treaty with Hezbollah. We haven't gotten rid of Hasan Nasrallah until this day, who is deluding us in his fight against it (Israel)," the journalist tweeted in Arabic.

"If Israel considers Hasan Nasrallah its enemy, why doesn't it carry out an airstrike that would rid us of him, thus gaining our faith and protecting itself?" Maalouf asked in another tweet.

Last week, Attorney General at the Court of Cassation Judge Sabouh Suleiman issued a search and arrest warrant against her after she failed to appear for questioning.

Maalouf is currently in Dubai for what she said were work-related reasons during an interview with CNN. She said she plans to return to Lebanon.

The journalist was first summoned for questioning after several lawyers filed lawsuits against her on charges of inciting sedition and the assassination of Nasrallah. 

In her interview with CNN, Maalouf denied allegations that she had called for Nasrallah’s assassination, insisting that she had only been inquiring on the matter.

This is not the first time that Maalouf has made controversial statements about Hezbollah and its chief.

Maalouf's tweets faced heavy criticism, particularly on social media.


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