Lebanon's chief prosecutor on Wednesday sent an arrest warrant against a suspected spy for Israel to international police agency Interpol, after reports the suspect, who fled the country last year, may be in France.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah first spoke of Ghassan al-Jid during a news conference last month in which he was presenting testimony that he said linked Israel to the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.
Nasrallah said Jid had been an "Israeli collaborator" since the early 1990s and that he had been present at the St. Georges yacht club, near the scene of Hariri's killing on the Beirut seafront, a day before the attack took place on Feb. 14, 2005.
After Nasrallah's news conference, Lebanese authorities initiated proceedings against Jid, a retired army colonel, and issued an arrest warrant.
Nasrallah said Jid had also been involved in the assassination of Hezbollah commander Ghalib Awali in 2004.
Dozens of Lebanese have been arrested since last year as part of an espionage investigation in which many have been formally charged with spying for Israel.
The high-profile detentions, including a high-ranking army officer, a Christian party member and telecommunications employees, have shocked Lebanon, showing how deeply Israel has managed to infiltrate and compromise its security.
The charges brought against the telecom employees at state-owned firms Alfa and Ogero have prompted Hezbollah to suggest Israel could have used telecom agents to manipulate phone records to implicate the group in Hariri's killing.
Hezbollah, which protected Lebanon in an Israeli 2006 war, has criticised the U.N. tribunal investigating the assassination after reports emerged that members of the Hezbollahp may be indicted, raising tensions in the country.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has called for severe punishment for spies. Three Lebanese have been sentenced to death for spying for Israel.
ReutersLast Mod: 01 Eylül 2010, 17:03