Body of Syrian Former PM Transferred to Hometown for Burial after Suicide

Published May 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The body of former Syrian Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Zu’bi who committed suicide as he awaited trial on charges of corruption was transferred Monday to his hometown for burial, the day after he died. 

Zu’bi's body was taken from Muasat Hospital in Damascus by ambulance to Khirbit Ghazaleh, in Deraa province near the border with Jordan, for burial, an AFP correspondent saw. 

His two sons, Muflah and Humam, as well as several relatives accompanied the former prime minister to his last resting place. 

"We will bury him today (Monday) after prayers are said at the village mosque," a relative of the deceased man told AFP. 

Political sources told Reuters that Zu'bi's sons, who were also accused of taking advantage of their father's position to amass considerable wealth, were under protective arrest.  

“They are mainly being protected against doing any harm to themselves,” one source said.  

The investigation against Zu'bi came as part of an increased campaign against corruption that is expected to cover several ministers and other senior officials.  

A spokesman for the justice ministry said on Sunday that former transport minister Mufeed abdul-karim was also arrested on Sunday, said Reuters.  

Zu’bi, 65, shot himself in the head Sunday in his home in Dummar, a residential area of Damascus where he was under house arrest and awaiting trial, two weeks after he was sacked from Syria's ruling Baath Party on charges of corruption, hospital sources in Damascus told AFP. 

One source quoted witnesses as saying Zu’bi fired twice in the air before turning the gun on himself, after police arrived to seize his possessions on orders from the ministry of finance. 

A Syrian interior ministry spokesman confirmed the death late on Sunday. 

On May 10 the Baath Party expelled Zu’bi and announced he would be put on trial for corruption after finding "irregularities and abuses" in his administration during his time as prime minister. 

Zu’bi, who served as prime minister from 1987 until two months ago, was replaced March 13 by Mohammed Mustafa Miro, who has pledged to "modernize the administration." – (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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