Lebanon Just Released Prominent Actor After Being Falsely Accused of Collaborating With Israel
Lebanese Actor Ziad Itani was detained in November on charges of “collaborating and communicating with the Israeli enemy”. However, after months of being detained, a judge freed Ziad Itani from detention and ordered the arrest of a security officer who built the case against him.
According to the BBC, it was alleged that M. Itani had confessed to being “tasked to monitor a group of high-level political figures”. However, close associates said his “confession” was extracted under duress, a claim denied by the authorities.
The security officer arrested on the judge’s orders was a former head of an anti-cybercrime unit, Lt Col Suzan Hobeiche. She was taken into detention earlier this month on suspicion of having fabricated evidence against the actor. It is not clear exactly what charges she now faces.
Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported Itani saying “I am an artist and the son of the stage… how could I be accused of such ugly things?”. He returned to a hero’s welcome to his home in Beirut.