Saturday, March 17, 2007

[sayyid.jpg]The attorney representing Jamil Sayyed, the former head of the Surete Generale in proceedings related to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, sent a letter of appeal to both State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza and investigating magistrate Elias Eid on Thursday demanding the "immediate release" of his client.

"The UN probe committee report into the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, submitted to the UN Security Council Thursday, makes no reference to my client whatsoever," Akram Azoury said in his letter.

Azoury added that a letter sent by Serge Brammertz, the chief of the UN probe, to Mirza on March 14, 2007 – two days before his report was submitted to the UN Security Council – "was yet further evidence that my client was not in any way involved or targeted by the report’s content."

Azoury said he received a letter on Wednesday that "officially declared" that Sayyed’s arrest and continued detention was "exclusively" the responsibility of the Lebanese judiciary.

Azoury added that Brammertz said he had forwarded to Mirza a copy of a previous letter Azoury had written demanding Sayyed’s release.

Azoury said that the probe committee, "at various times," and the US State Department report on human rights in Lebanon had mentioned that "political pressures were standing in the way of the release of my client."

"Therefore," Azoury’s Thursday letter to Mirza and Eid said, "I demand that my client be released immediately."