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Arrest warrant issued against protester Zein in absentia.

Summary: Mount Lebanon First Investigative Judge Bassam al-Hajj Friday issued an arrest warrant for Rabih al-Zein, despite the protester's inability to attend an interrogation for health reasons, the National News agency reported.

BEIRUT: Mount Lebanon First Investigative Judge Bassam al-Hajj Friday issued an arrest warrant for Rabih al-Zein, despite the protester's inability to attend an interrogation for health reasons, the National News agency reported.

Zein was arrested on Jan. 29 for his alleged involvement in road blocks and incitement of the torching of an ATM in the Kesrouan town of Zouk Mosbeh, and of the headquarters of the Free Patriotic Movement in Jounieh. He was released nearly a week later.

The judge contacted Zein's lawyer, Nohad Salma, Thursday informing him that he was opening further investigations into the case, and that Zein was therefore required to attend questioning at the Baabda Court Friday.

Hajj reopened the Thursday night case at the request of Aoun, who is pressing further charges against Zein, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

Salma told the NNA that his client was in hospital for emergency treatment, so could not attend. He presented a medical report proving Zein's serious condition.

Hajj rejected the medical report, saying it was "not serious enough to postpone the case."

Zein's release from detention Tuesday was complicated. He was released after the Mount Lebanon Accusatory Body ratified a ruling, filed by Hajj, to free him. Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Ghada Aoun had rejected Hajj's decision.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Feb 7, 2020
Words:260
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