Judge requests death penalty for men indicted in Estonians’ abduction

Military Investigative Judge Fadi Sawwan requested the death penalty for 26 people accused of kidnapping seven Estonians in Lebanon last year.

“Sawwan requested the death penalty for 26 people, nine of whom are in [Lebanese] custody and 19 of whom are on the run,” the NNA quoted Sawwan’s indictment as saying.

The indictment also said that a Syrian national, identified as Mohammad Ahmad Maarouf, was currently in Syrian custody.

Sawwan indicted all 26 people of forming a “gang to commit felonies and harm the state’s prestige,” and linked the gang to the Fateh al-Islam organization - which the Lebanese army fought against in the Palestinian Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in 2007.

The NNA added that Sawwan transferred the case to the permanent military court for trial.

Seven Estonians were abducted in Lebanon in March 2011. They were freed in July, almost four months after being abducted by armed men as they entered the country on a bicycle tour from neighboring Syria.

-NOW Lebanon