BEIRUT — Abdel Rahman Zakaria and Mohammad Rustom, who have been detained since Friday for helping the depositor responsible for the holdup in Blom Bank in the Sodeco neighborhood of Beirut, Sali Hafiz, in order to obtain her own savings, will be questioned on Wednesday by the first investigating judge of Beirut, Charbel Abou Samra, at the end of which they should either be released or be the subject to an arrest warrant, as the investigation continues.
A decision to release Zakaria on Tuesday, issued by the first investigating judge of North Lebanon, Samaranda Nassar, was confirmed by Zakaria's lawyer. However, it turned out that this decision concerns an arrest warrant in absentia issued against Abdel Rahman Zakaria on June 30 for another case, not the case relating to Blom Bank.
When asked by L'Orient-Le Jour, Ali Abbas, a lawyer of the detained, said that Nassar ruled on a request that he had made a few days ago. "I had asked Judge Nassar to release my client who is accused of insulting the head of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil, during his tour in Akkar on April 30." That day was marked by an angry demonstration provoked by Bassil's visit. The public road in the area of Rahbeh, in Akkar, was blocked and pictures of the FPM leader were burned in protest against his visit to the locality.
Abbas explained that when his client was brought last Wednesday to the police station in Damascus Street, competent for the acts committed in Sodeco, the police issued a judicial register in which his background is recorded, including the offenses committed. After consultation, the lawyer hurried to address the issue of the previous arrest warrant.
"When Abdel Rahman Zakaria will be released in the Blom Bank robbery case, he will no longer have to wait to be discharged from the charges against him in North Lebanon," he noted.
Zakaria and Rustom seem to be the subject of arrest warrants issued by the Military Court. "The Prosecutor General at the Court of Cassation, Ghassan Oueidat, told me that my clients are prosecuted by the Military Court," says Abbas, adding that "their criminal records do not include this information."
"I would probably have to go and inquire at the court," he added, pointing out that neither the number of the file nor the reasons for the proceedings have been communicated to him. If so, the two detainees would not be at the end of their sentences, since they would have to wait for a verdict from the military court in their favor before being released.