Senior Jordanian and Israeli diplomats hold rare meeting on Palestinian issue


Lebanese information minister faces legal action over controversial Houthi remarks

DUBAI: Three lawyers filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Lebanese Minister of Information, wanting him to be indicted and tried by a criminal court for inciting unrest and disruption of relations with Arab countries for his “defamatory and manufactured ”on the Houthis.

Information Minister George Kordahi sparked diplomatic outrage and social media frenzy on Tuesday when a video of him saying the Houthis were defending themselves and calling the Yemeni war “absurd” surfaced online .

Kordahi was asked in an interview recorded on August 5, before being appointed Minister of Information, about his position on what was happening in Yemen. He replied: “In my opinion, this Yemeni war is absurd and should end. “

Arab News has learned that Lebanese lawyers Mohammad Ziyad Ja’afil, Abdul Aziz Jumaa and Abeer Bannout have filed a complaint with the general prosecutor’s office accusing Kordahi of committing crimes that endangered national unity and damaged Lebanon’s relations with Arab countries.

Referring to his “controversial comments” in their legal disclaimer, lawyers said Kordahi’s statement created a diplomatic and political crisis given that he was a member of the current cabinet in Lebanon, “a country with common interests. as well as historical and close relations with the Arab Gulf countries and namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the legal notice, the lawyers said: “The minister concerned is not an ordinary person but rather a seasoned broadcaster, Minister of Information, represents the Lebanese media chief and a professional academician and diplomat. His comment was not just a coincidence or a simple reaction as some are trying to spread.

They said Kordahi’s comments endangered Lebanon’s relations with his Arab counterparts, violated the code of professional and diplomatic conduct and caused a crisis for his country.

“It has endangered the interests of citizens and expatriates, in addition to harming the political and economic interests of Lebanon, which adds to its isolation. It has incited sectarian, religious and racist conflicts, ”reads the legal notice, a copy of which was obtained by Arab News.

Lawyers said Kordahi’s comments were “unfounded, defamatory and fabricated” and remained a figment of his imagination.

“His comments hurt all patriotic citizens who appreciate and respect Arab countries who have consistently supported and helped Lebanon,” the notice read.

Ja’afil, Jumaa and Bannout said they filed their legal opinion to prevent anyone from slandering Arab countries, to punish the wrongdoer and to set a future precedent so that others do not disrespect or defame. the Arab brothers.

The complainants added that what the minister said, and the fact that the Lebanese president and the prime minister’s office disassociated themselves from his remarks, before he repeated what he said and refused to apologize Wednesday, confirmed that he had committed a crime and violated his duties.

“His behavior is incriminated and punished by the Penal Code and requires that he be prosecuted and tried before a criminal court and not before the special parliamentary commission which judges presidents and ministers,” said the lawyers.

Jumaa said they filed the legal notice in their capacity as Lebanese citizens who did not want to be affected or influenced by Kordahi’s statements.

“We do not agree with his controversial statements which could cause undesirable suffering and ramifications and inflict damage on us as citizens and expatriates living in the Gulf,” Jumaa told Arab News.

Asked about the penalty Kordahi could face if indicted and sent to court, the lawyer replied: “If judicial progress runs its independent course without any political pressure, he could face between one and three years in prison and / or a fine of $ 600 in accordance with article 194 of the Lebanese Penal Code.

When asked if the cassation attorney general’s decision in the case was irrevocable, Bannout told Arab News that there was no time limit for the investigating prosecutor to issue a ruling without call.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to impeach Kordahi and return him to criminal court or dismiss the lawsuit.

The Gulf Cooperation Council condemned the minister’s comments on Wednesday, saying they reflected limited knowledge and superficial understanding.

A former TV presenter, Kordahi has sparked controversy in the past with his views on issues ranging from Syrian President Bashar Assad to workplace harassment.

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