Former Lebanese militia chief loses bid to sue Israel

Mustafa Dirani has lost a 15-year-old bid to pursue a case via the Israeli courts

Former Lebanese militia chief loses bid to sue Israel

World Bulletin/News Desk

A former Lebanese militia chief has lost a 15-year-old bid to pursue a case via the Israeli courts for compensation over his torture while imprisoned in Israel.

The Supreme Court, reversing a ruling it handed down in 2011, said Mustafa Dirani, who was released in a prisoner swap and repatriated to Lebanon in 2004, could not proceed with the lawsuit because he had rejoined the ranks of a "terrorist group ... working toward Israel's destruction".

Israeli commandos abducted Dirani from his home in southern Lebanon in 1994 in the hope of trading him for information on missing Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad. Dirani's Amal militia captured Arad in 1986.

Amal, a Shi'ite militia, is an ally of the Hezbollah movement, and fought Israeli forces that occupied parts of south Lebanon from 1978 to 2000.

Dirani, now in his early 60s, told interrogators he had handed the airman to Iran, but later said his confession was false and forced out of him. Arad's fate has never been revealed. Israel officially considers him missing in action.

In 2000, while still in Israeli detention, Dirani filed a lawsuit demanding 6 million shekels (now $1.25 million) in compensation, saying he had been sodomised on the order of an Israeli secret service interrogator. Israel denied the allegation.

Soon after Dirani returned to Lebanon, the Israeli government failed to persuade a three-judge Supreme Court panel to quash further proceedings. But two years ago, the court agreed to reconsider the appeal in a wider seven-justice forum.

On Thursday, it ruled 4-3 against Dirani, saying that allowing him recourse to the courts of a country he sought to destroy defied logic.

Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2015, 21:58
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