The detained former head of General Security, Jamil Sayyed, accused State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza and Investigative Magistrate Elias Eid on Sunday of transforming the Lebanese judiciary into "a tool for political detention." In a statement issued Sunday through attorney Akram Azoury, Sayyed said Eid was reluctant to release him because "he was afraid of Mirza, and Mirza, in turn, was afraid from pressures exerted on him from various politicians." He added, "The duty of both Mirza and Eid is to establish justice and not be subject to any outside influences."
Four officers - Raymond Azar of Army Intelligence, Ali Hajj of the Internal Security Forces, Mustafa Hamdan of the Presidential Guard and Sayyed - have been detained since August 2005 for alleged involvement in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.
Sayyed said he was surprised that he was kept in confinement, after the UN probe committee "has - five times - officially declared that the arrest of the four former security generals falls strictly within the responsibilities of the Lebanese judiciary and that the committee was not to be held responsible for it."
Sayyed said that while the UN probe blamed Eid and Mirza for the arrests, "Eid and Mirza, on the other hand, both contend that political pressures prevent them from releasing me."
Sayyed's third statement this week comes a few days after Mohammad Mattar, the lawyer for the heirs of four Hariri bodyguards who died in the bombing, filed a request on Wednesday that Eid be replaced. Mattar cited Eid's alleged "intention" to release former security officials Azar and Sayyed before the conclusion of the investigation.
He also cited Eid's "overly friendly relations" with the lawyers and families of the four officers suspected of involvement in the assassination.