Lebanese comedian and actor Ziad Itani was arrested on Thursday evening for “collaborating with Israel over the past three years,” according to a security source.
A Lebanese security forces statement read: “On 23/11/2017, the State Security Directorate General carried out a quality proactive operation in counterintelligence, and it arrested the Lebanese citizen called Ziad Ahmed Itani, who is an actor, director and playwright (born in Beirut 1975), on charges of collaborating and communicating with Israeli enemy. A specialized unit for the State Security, following monitoring, tracking and investigating for several months inside and outside Lebanese territories, and on direct instructions from the General Director, Maj. Gen. Tony Saliba, confirmed the crime against the suspect Ziad Itani”.
Sources said that Itani was involved in plots to assassinate Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk, as well as monitored Abdul Rahim Mrad, Lebanon’s former minister of defense and minister of education and higher learning.
Lebanese security forces seized a laptop and three cellphones from Itani’s home, in addition to other communications equipment.
Itani, famous for his role in the comedy show “Tarik al-Jadeedeh,” also appeared in several other political satire shows.