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08.07.2020 15:27 News >> Freed Hezbollah-Linked Businessman Arrives In Lebanon

Freed Hezbollah-Linked Businessman Arrives In Lebanon

Hezbollah-linked businessman Qassem Tajeddine, who Washington accuses of funding the Shia group, arrived in Lebanese capital Beirut on Wednesday after a three-year detention in the United States.
In a statement, Tajeddine's family said the businessman was released on humanitarian grounds related to threats to his life over the spread of coronavirus.
Tajeddine "is not an American citizen, but his return to Beirut was associated with complicated mechanisms due to his legal status and current travel conditions, which contributed to delaying his return," the statement said.
In May, a federal judge in Washington accepted a health petition for Tajeddine's release, two years before the end of his five-year prison sentence.
American media cited judicial documents attributing his release to the businessman's health crisis and the risk of developing coronavirus.
Other media reports, however, suggested that Tajeddine's release came as part of a deal whereby Amer al-Fakhoury, an Israeli agent with dual US and Lebanese citizenship, was released two months ago from Beirut.
Lebanese authorities did not formally comment on these speculations.
In 2017, Moroccan authorities arrested Tajeddine, 64, under an international memorandum and extradited him to the US, eight years after his name was placed on the list of international terrorists.
Tajeddine faced a 5-year prison sentence, after being convicted of pumping millions of dollars into the accounts of Hezbollah, as well as crimes related to money laundering.
Hezbollah is listed on the US terror list and is classified as a "terrorist organization" in several western and Gulf countries.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara -



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