Lebanese ex-colonel ‘faked’ charges against actor accused of spying for Israel
A Lebanese police chief was arrested on Friday for her alleged role in falsifying charges against an actor arrested for "collaborating" with Israel, a country considered an enemy by Lebanon, a security source said.
Lebanese playwright and actor Ziad Itani, known for a series of comic pieces about Beirut life, was arrested in November for "collaborating and communicating" with Israel.
Officially, Lebanon is still in a state of war with Israel, even though fighting has stopped between the two neighboring countries. Beirut applies a strict boycott of Israeli products and forbids its citizens from having contact with Israelis.
Colonel Suzan El-Hajj, the former director of the cybercrimes bureau in the Lebanese security forces, "was arrested on Friday as part of the investigation," according to the source.
She is suspected of having "used the services of a hacker to fake conversations, so as to accuse Ziad Itani of having had communications with an Israeli girl," according to another source close to the case.
In November, Itani was arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel, Lebanon's security services said. He is suspected of following a series of senior political figures in Lebanon and trying to get close to their aides in an effort to obtain information about their movements.
In December, he was brought before the military justice.
Before becoming an actor and author, Itani worked as a reporter for the pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen TV channel and collaborated with various newspapers.