France’s judiciary further delays Abdallah’s release
April 05, 2013 01:50 AMBy Van Meguerditchian
BEIRUT: France’s judiciary further delayed the release of Georges Abdallah Thursday, arguing that he should spend a minimum of one more year in probation before parole can be admissible.
The decision came from the Court of Cassation in response to litigation prepared by a French prosecutor, who appealed an earlier judicial decision that granted Abdallah parole on the condition that he be deported.
According to the court’s decision obtained by AFP, Abdallah could be put under electronic surveillance and spend just a few hours outside prison every day during probation.
The ruling came earlier than a scheduled session for next week.
The news of the decision angered many of Abdallah’s friends and supporters Thursday who gathered in front of the French Embassy in Beirut, and warned that they would escalate their actions if Lebanese officials fail to demand Abdallah’s release.
Serving a life sentence in France on charges of murdering American and Israeli diplomats, Abdallah was granted parole last year, but the court’s ruling was appealed after the Interior Ministry refused to deport him.
The French court invalidated last year’s parole and left it up to the defense to file another request for Abdallah’s parole in a year’s time.
“There is nothing judicial in this case anymore; it’s clearly political, and Georges is in jail for political reasons,” Abdallah’s brother, Joseph told The Daily Star. “Our demonstration will continue in front of the French Embassy and we will hold a large gathering there on April 11,” said Abdallah.
Abdallah said his brother’s attorney in France is confident that there are no judicial obstacles to the release, alleging that there were “political obstacles imposed by the United States’ representatives in France.”
“The judiciary is completely under the influence of the Americans and there is an unprecedented violation of French rules,” he added.
Abdallah also said he was surprised by the judiciary’s decision, given that French President Francois Hollande had reportedly conveyed assurances to President Michel Sleiman about the case earlier this week.
“Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told me on the phone that President Hollande informed Sleiman that he was optimistic when Sleiman asked him about Abdallah.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 05, 2013, on page 2.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2013/Apr-05/212648-frances-judiciary-further-delays-abdallahs-release.ashx#ixzz2Q33fZ1ZL
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)