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Lebanon-interior Minister.

Charles Ayyoub, editor-in chief and owner of the local daily AD DIYAR, on Wednesday came to the defense of law and order officers, who were reprimanded and disciplined Tuesday in connection with the failed attempt of Fatah-Islam prisoners to breakout of Roumieh maximum security jail. Eight inmates managed to escape but seven of them were recaptured by the authorities while the eighth remained at large. Instead of reprimanding members of the security forces, they should have been rewarded for their efforts to recapture escaped inmates, Ayyoub said. He said the entire issue of the escape was stage-managed to embarrass outgoing Interior Minister Ziad Baroud and prevent him from hanging on to his portfolio in the next cabinet. Baroud was lauded by all parties for the good job he did in the June 7 national elections, which, for the first time ever in Lebanon, took place in one day and without incident. Baroud's political loyalty is to Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. Why should officers of the law have to end up as scapegoats in the ongoing political tug-of-war concerning the fate of the interior ministry? Ayyoub asked in reference to MP Michel Aoun's current attempt to embarrass Baroud and describe him as a failed interior minister while proposing to replace him with a more efficient person from his Aounist group. If there is one team to take the blame for this escape attempt, it should be the jail wardens, not officers of the law, Ayyoub said.
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Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Aug 19, 2009
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