Released from detention, Yaacoub vows harsh response.
BEIRUT: Fresh from a seven-month detention over a high-profile kidnapping case, former MP Hasan Yaacoub Monday blasted authorities for locking him up and warned they would pay a price for the "humiliation" he and his family were put through.
Yaacoub spoke from a protest site set up months ago outside a Shiite Muslim organization in a southern Beirut suburb, after he was detained for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Hannibal Gadhafi, the son of the slain Libyan leader accused of kidnapping Yaacoub's father 38 years ago.
"Gadhafi is Lebanon's enemy, and his son is now in prison, so why did you do this to Sheikh [Mohammad] Yaacoub's son?" he said, referring to himself. "Why did you do this to his family?"
Lebanon's Accusatory Body released Yaacoub on LL30 million ($20,000) bail after spending just over seven months in detention. Hannibal Gadhafi was abducted in the Syrian capital Damascus last December before being transferred to Lebanon.
He was then handed over to the police in Lebanon and charged with hiding information on the 1978 abduction of Yaacoub and two other Lebanese, including Lebanon's influential Shiite scholar Imam Musa Sadr and a journalist, in Libya.
"I am proud of being Sheikh Yaacoub's son. However now I am even more proud after experiencing his oppression in my months of detention, but that is nothing compared to the time his family spent on the streets," he said.
In a defiant tone, he added that those behind his detention would pay a price "for every hour the family spent on the streets. I have nothing more to say, we will take action."
Heavy celebratory gunfire erupted at the protest site upon Yaacoub's arrival to the tent.
Women could also be heard screaming as they showered the former MP with rice as he stepped out of his car.
Speaking to MTV Lebanon earlier in the day, Yaacoub's mother Imtithal called on people to join her and other female relatives of Yaacoub at their protest site on the old airport road in the southern suburbs of Beirut to celebrate her son's release from prison.
"We hope this release won't come with any conditions," she said, adding however that she did not have details over the court's decision.
"They have finally been convinced that we are right ... justice never dies," she said.
"Hasan Yaacoub should not have been imprisoned for a minute, this is a shame on a national level," Yaacoub's brother Ali later said, shortly before his brother's arrival.
"Three judges have proven over the course of seven months that Yaacoub was innocent and there was no proof against him, therefore we reiterate that this was a politicized issue," he added.
However, Hasan Yaacoub did not address the allegations against him, took no questions from reporters, and his tone appeared to suggest support for the kidnapping and jailing of Gadhafi.
Relatives and supporters of Yaacoub have observed an open-ended protest to demand his release since shortly after his arrest. The sit-in was set up near the Higher Islamic Shiite Council on the old airport road.
Copyright [c] 2016, The Daily Star. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).
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|Publication:||The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Jul 26, 2016|
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