Karam’s Conviction Proves Credibility of Intelligence Bureau as FPM Slams Verdict
Retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam’s conviction of spying for Israel has demonstrated the credibility of the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau in light of the “harsh political campaign that was launched against it by the Free Patriotic Movement”, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.
Informed sources told the daily however that his sentence to two years on charges of collaborating with Israel is short in comparison to other individuals who have been given life sentences for the same charges.
They added however that Karam’s acquittal “would have marked the end of the age of the Resistance and the beginning of the Israeli age, which would have been a major blow to the Resistance’s supporters.”
Furthermore, they pointed out that a major political figure refrained from intervening in Karam’s case “which proves the national credibility of this dangerous affair.”
Karam, a senior official in the Free Patriotic Movement, was sentenced on Saturday to two years in prison on charges of collaborating with Israel.
FPM MP Nabil Nicolas told An Nahar on Saturday shortly after the sentencing that the “development was not a trial, but a premeditated decision.”
“A trial means listening to witnesses and the defense team. Justice does not entail sentencing an individual for actions he did not commit,” he added.
“This was a political sentence and there is no evidence that can convict Karam seeing as the witnesses gave contradictory testimonies,” he stressed.
Meanwhile Mustaqbal bloc MP Ahmed Fatfat told the daily: “The military court’s sentence proves the credibility of the Intelligence Bureau.”
“However, we believe that the sentence was very light and it encourages people to collaborate with Israel,” he noted.
The military court sentenced on Saturday Karam to three years reduced to two on charges of collaborating with Israel.
Karam was convicted to three years in prison reduced to two years of hard labor for collaborating with Israel according to article 278 sanctions.
The prosecutor also sentenced Lebanese fugitive Elias Karam, who had allegedly introduced Fayez Karam to Israeli officers in Paris, to 10 years in prison in absentia.
"Military prosecutor Fadi Akiki has found retired general Fayez Karam guilty of contacting enemy (Israeli) intelligence... and providing them with political information," a judicial source told Agence France Presse.
Karam, who collapsed when the sentence was read, was also stripped of all civil rights, the source said.
The verdict did not find Karam guilty of spying for Israel, however.
Seven witnesses were called for testimony: two doctors from Dahr al-Basheq hospital, Roumieh prison warden back them and four officers from the intelligence bureau who interrogated Karam.
Akiki demanded the court during trial to implement article 278 from sanctions. While defense attorney Rashad Salamah slammed the preliminary investigations that were taken from his client after using force.
Karam, a senior member of the Free Patriotic Movement, was arrested by the Police Intelligence Bureau arrested in August 2010 on suspicion of spying for Israel.
Karam graduated from the military school in 1972 as lieutenant.
He held several leadership positions in the army, including head of the counter-terror and spying bureau.
He remained in his post until the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and his imprisonment in Mazze for five months.
Karam quit the military after then army commander Michel Aoun was exiled to France in 1990.
He returned with him to Lebanon in 2005 when Syria withdrew its troops from the country, ending its 29-year hegemony.
More than 100 people have been arrested on suspicion of spying for the Israeli Mossad since April 2009, including members of the security forces and telecom employees.
Several have since been sentenced to death, including one found guilty of aiding Israel during its devastating 2006 war with Hizbullah.