BEIRUT — “My job is to implement any decision of justice,” General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said in a television interview on Monday evening while discussing the recent arrest of Maronite archbishop of Jerusalem and Haifa, Moussa al-Hage.
General Security arrested Hage last week while he was returning to Lebanon after a visit to Israeli-controlled territory. The case has attracted a lot of criticism, particularly of Hezbollah and the government commissioner of the interim military court, Fadi Akiki, on whose orders General Security arrested the prelate.
In the wake of Hage's arrest, the head of the Maronite Church, Bechara al-Rai, expressed his indignation and, in an apparent indirect criticism of Hezbollah, on Sunday said, "Look for the agents elsewhere." Some of Hage’s detractors say the archbishop broke the law that prohibits any relationship with Israel, as he was carrying $460,000 and medicines from Israeli donors at the time of his detention.
“With all due respect to Patriarch Rai, I am the director of a service where one of the missions is to monitor the comings and goings on all borders,” Ibrahim said in an interview with al-Jadeed. “My job is also to implement any court decision,” he continued.
“Archbishop Hage was not subjected to any attack on his dignity by the agents of the GS,” said Ibrahim. "He had about 20 suitcases which took eight hours to search. We did not destroy what the bishop was carrying, but everything we confiscated was handed over to the magistrates," he continued. Hage’s passport and cell phone were confiscated, along with the money and medicine he was carrying.
The director general of the SG also denied any "political calculation." The case continues to cause a stir. For example, Lebanese Forces chief, Samir Geagea, called Judge Akiki a "traitor." Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah meanwhile said that his party had nothing to do with the case.