Bashir Gemayel’s Assassins get death Sentence

A Lebanese top court sentenced in absentia on Friday, Habib Shartouni for the assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel, in 1982. The court ruling comes more than 35 years after the president-elect Bashir Gemayel was killed in Ashrafieh by a massive bomb blast.

Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP), who admitted his part in the attack in the 1980s, spent eight years in prison before escaping in 1990.

Bashir Gemayel was killed less than a month after being elected president, and just two weeks from taking office, when a massive bomb tore through the Phalangist Party (Kataeb) headquarters in east Beirut on September 14,1982. At least 23 of his supporters were also killed in the blast, with Reuters reporting that 32 others had died.

The council had held five previous sessions before the final verdict. In addition to Shartouni, fellow SSNP member Nabil Farah al-Alam was also sentenced, in absentia, to death for his role in the bomb attack.

After the announcement, Minister Gebran Bassil as well as many other politicians and leaders met in Sassine square to mark the event and declare to all that there is no statute of limitations on justice.

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