Beirut, Lebanon – The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Friday denied involvement in the recent release of a Lebanese-American man accused of overseeing the torture of thousands of Lebanese during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.
Hezbollah Secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said that his organisation had no prior knowledge of the military court’s decision earlier this week to release Amer Fahkhoury, the commander of the notorious Khiam Prison from the 1980s until the 1990s, when he was a member of the South Lebanon Army (SLA), an Israeli proxy.
Instead, the leader of the most powerful force in Lebanon said he had learned of the decision “on television, and then made calls to inquire about it”.
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“There was American pressure, and some people were weak,” he said.
Fakhoury left Lebanon on Thursday on board a US Army helicopter that departed from the US Embassy north of Beirut, following his release on March 16.
He had been detained after entering Lebanon in September and was charged with kidnapping, imprisoning and torturing inmates at Khiam.
The court, headed by Brigadier-General Hussien Abdallah, however, dropped the charges saying the statute of limitations had passed.