Lebanon may hand over Majed’s body to Saudis

Lebanon may hand over Majed’s body to Saudis
Wed Jan 8, 2014 08:08:51

Lebanon will likely hand the body of the leader of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group over to his family in Saudi Arabia, but only after physicians have determined the cause of death, a judicial source says.

The source, who asked not be identified, told The Daily Star on Tuesday that acting State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud was expected to agree to a request made by the family of Saudi national Majed al-Majed to repatriate his body.

“But he [Hammoud] is waiting for a report from a committee of physicians he appointed in the previous hours ... and tasked with studying Majed’s medical records in all Lebanese hospitals he was admitted to,” the source said, adding that the report was expected within 48 hours.

The six-member committee, also comprising coroners, is examining Majed’s medical records at Hamid Hospital in the Bekaa Valley and Beirut’s al-Maqassed Hospital as well as a military health care institution in the capital.

Majed headed the al-Qaeda-linked AbdullahAzzam Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Nov. 19, 2013, suicide bombings outside Iran’s Embassy in Beirut that claimed the lives of dozens of people including an Iranian diplomat.

Another source said Majed’s arrest last month was the result of a tipoff from US intelligence, a reflection of the recent improvement in US-Iranian ties.

Majed, who was wanted by the US, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Iran among other countries, suffered from critical health conditions when he was arrested, and was transferred to the Beirut military hospital, where he died over the weekend. He had been a patient at the two other hospitals prior to his arrest.

Caretaker Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi citing a coroner’s report, said Majed died due to kidney failure, lung problems and a virus infection.

He confirmed that Lebanon had received a request from Saudi Arabia to hand over Majed’s body to his family. “A request from the [Saudi] Embassy has been filed to the Foreign Ministry and referred to the Justice Ministry asking that Majed al-Majed’s body be repatriated,” Qortbawi said.


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