LEBANON: BASHIR GEMAYEL ASSASSINS GET DEATH SENTENCE IN ABSENTIA FOR 1982 ASSASSINATION
October 21, 2017:
Lebanon's top court sentenced to death at least one Syrian nationalist for the 1982 assassination of President-elect Bashir Gemayel. (Sources: Reuters, AP, 21/10/2017)
Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP), was sentenced in absentia but admitted his part in the attack in the 1980s. He spent eight years in prison before escaping in 1990.
Gemayel was a Christian in a predominantly Muslim country.
Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper quoted Shartouni on October 19 saying the timing of his trial was political and that he had lived in Syria from 1994 to 2004.
He did not say where he lives now.
Gemayel was killed less than a month after being elected president - and just two weeks from taking office - when a massive bomb tore through the right-wing Christian Phalange Party headquarters in east Beirut on September 14. At least 23 of his supporters were also killed in the blast, with Reuters reporting that 32 others had died.
In addition to Shartouni, fellow SSNP member Nabil Farah al-Alam was also sentenced, in absentia, to death for his role in the bomb attack, according to the Associated Press.