Newly appointed US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea has taken advantage of presenting her credentials to President Michael Aoun to raise the issue of the ongoing arrest of Amer Fakhoury, prominent Lebanese official sources have revealed.
Fakhoury is a Lebanese-American who confessed he'd worked for Israel during its occupation of Lebanon.
He was detained after returning to Lebanon from the US in September and had worked as a senior warden at the Khiam Prison in southern Lebanon.
In accordance with the protocol, Shea has visited senior officials, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
According to sources, Shea requested releasing Fakhoury, who suffers from an incurable disease and is receiving treatment in a hospital under the supervision of the Lebanese judiciary.
She requested allowing him to travel to Washington because he holds US citizenship.
Sources stressed that Shea didn’t receive any response and was told that being Lebanese, Fakhoury is currently tried before the military judiciary and has the right to appoint a lawyer to defend his case.
She was also told that his extradition to the United States and being allowed to receive treatment there will not happen anytime soon, sources noted, adding that the decision, in this case, is only to be taken by the military judiciary.
The same sources said Washington had earlier requested Fakhoury’s extradition, noting that the former US ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth Richard, had raised this issue with several prominent figures in Lebanon.
US diplomat David Hale reportedly discussed during his visit to Lebanon late 2019 the possibility of releasing Fakhoury and handing him over to the US authorities, yet he hasn’t received any response.
Khiam was run by an Israeli-backed militia until Israel ended its 18-year occupation of the area in 2000.
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