LEBANON. DEATH PENALTY DROPPED AGAINST PLO HEAD
March 30, 2006: a Lebanese military court dropped a death penalty against the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the country.
Lebanon had sentenced Sultan Abou al-Ainein to death in absentia in 1999 on charges of forming an armed gang and the illegal possession of weapons.
He turned himself in to Lebanese authorities earlier in the day after receiving a promise from the government that verdict would be reviewed, PLO official Khaled Aref said.
The military court in Beirut dismissed all the charges and arrest warrants against Abou al-Ainein.
"He (Abou al-Ainein) turned himself after meeting several ministers who promised that the sentence will be reviewed," Aref said. Lebanese leaders meeting at "national dialogue" talks agreed earlier in the month to disarm Palestinian militants based outside the country's 12 squalid refugee camps and pledged to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in Lebanon. (Sources: www.iol.co.za, 30/03/2006)