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World IN BRIEF : LEBANON : 2 Men Acquitted in Death of U.S. Envoy

March 14, 1996|From Times Wire Reports

Lebanon's top appeals court acquitted two former guerrillas of involvement in the 1976 slaying of U.S. Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, an embassy counselor and their Lebanese driver. The court made no decision in the case of a third former guerrilla who is still on the run. The three men are Lebanese Muslims and former members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a radical group that took part in the early stages of the 1975-90 civil war. Prosecutors had demanded up to 20 years in jail for each of the three men. The Court of Cassation acquitted Bassem Farkh and Nameq Kamel on the grounds that their cases fell within the scope of an amnesty issued in 1991 for crimes committed during the war. The amnesty excludes murders of foreign diplomats; however, the two were not accused of the actual killing, and the court ruled that they had no knowledge it was to take place.

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