Raymond Azar (security chief)

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Raymond Azar
Born Raymond Azar
1953 (age 63–64)
Jezzine
Nationality Lebanese
Occupation General and former head of military intelligence

Raymond Azar (born 1953) was head of Lebanese military intelligence.

Early life and education[edit]

Raymond Azar was born into a Maronite family in the mostly Christian village of Jezzine in 1953.[1] He studied to be a priest before joining the army.[1]

Career[edit]

Azar was appointed to head of military intelligence in 1998 when Emile Lahoud was elected president.[1] He was at this post at the time of Hariri assassination.[1]

Controversy[edit]

Raymond Azar fell under suspicion of playing a role in the 2005 assassination of Rafiq Hariri a former Prime Minister of Lebanon.[2] The Mehlis report included a witness as indicating that Azar, like Hamdan, provided logistical support for the assassination.[1] He and other three generals including Jamil Al Sayyed were arrested on 30 August 2005.[3] They were held in Roumieh prison, northeast of Beirut from 2005 to April 2009.[4][5] It is argued that first loyalty of all four generals was to Syrian government rather than Lebanese government.[6] They all were released in April 2009 due to lack of evidence.[7][4][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "FACTBOX: Lebanese generals ordered released by Hariri court". Reuters. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jamil Sayyed to Saad Hariri: You Are Your Dad's Killer till You Punish Forgers". Champress. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009. Jamil Al Sayyed was among four top generals who were released in April after four years in custody in connection with Hariri's assassination, no one has ever been formally charged. The other three are the former head of the presidential guard, Mustafa Hamdan, former internal security chief Ali Al Hajj, and military intelligence chief Raymond Azar. 
  3. ^ Mallat, Chibli. Lebanon's Cedar Revolution An essay on non-violence and justice (PDF). Mallat. p. 122. 
  4. ^ a b "Jamil as-Sayyed". Now Lebanon. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jamil al Sayyed celebrates photos". USA Today. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Fisk, Robert (11 January 2009). "Who killed Mr Lebanon?: The hunt for Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's assassins". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Muir, Jim (22 September 2010). "Deep divisions haunt Lebanese politics". BBC. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Hariri's Damascus Trip Complicated By Syrian Warrants For Lebanese Officials". Wikileaks. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2012.