Lebanon’s Aoun says will seek evidence over US sanctions on Bassil

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President Michel Aoun said that Lebanon would seek evidence and documents from the United States that led Washington to impose sanctions on Friday on prominent Christian politician and his son-in-law Gebran Bassil.

The sanctions are the first against a senior Christian ally of Hezbollah, a powerful Shiite movement long targeted by US sanctions and blacklisted as a “terrorist” organisation.

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President “Aoun has asked his foreign minister to obtain the proof and documents that pushed the US Treasury to direct accusations against lawmaker Gebran Bassil”, his office said on Twitter.

Aoun also stressed “the necessity of handing over the documents to the Lebanese judiciary to take the necessary measures”, it said.

A source at the presidency said the request was made as “Bassil is a Lebanese lawmaker and (former) minister accused of graft”.

“If there were evidence against him, the Lebanese judiciary should follow up on the issue,” the source said.

Bassil, 50, has been dubbed by many as the “shadow president”.

He is married to the president’s daughter and heads the Free Patriotic Movement founded by Aoun, which together with its allies holds a parliamentary majority.

Read more:

US sanctions Lebanon’s Gebran Bassil for Hezbollah ties, corruption

Lebanese officials hit by US sanctions over corruption, support to Hezbollah

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