Bashir Gemayel was assassinated on September 14th 1982 when a bomb exploded in the Beirut Kataeb HQ in Achrafieh. He was only 34 years old and had just been elected President of the Lebanese Republic. A member of the Syrian Socialist National Party called Habib Shartouni was charged with the assassination at the time but he escaped prison in 1990 and no one knows his whereabouts ever since.
On Friday and after 34 years, Lebanon’s highest court demanded the surrender of Shartouni and gave him 24 hours to turn himself in. “The court also called for proof that a second suspect charged with taking part in the bombing, Nabil al-Alam, is no longer alive”. Shartouni is currently believed to be living in Syria. I honestly don’t believe Shartouni will show up in Beirut anytime soon but I’m glad the trial was reopen even if after 34 years!
Killing a Lebanese President must not go unpunished and the judiciary body must carry out his role fully even after all these years. All pending trials must be reopen and settled once and for all.
PS: The trial was adjourned by the Judicial Council until March 3, 2017.