Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel on Thursday voiced readiness to be deprived of his parliamentary immunity so that he would face those suing him for uncovering corruption deals before the Judiciary, expressing determination to take this case to court and pursue it until the end.
“The lawsuit filed by the energy minister against 400 people brings back suppressive regimes to our minds,” Gemayel said during a press conference held at the party’s headquarter in Saifi.
The Kataeb chief noted that the party’s lawyers will be placed at the disposal of those who would like to lodge a complaint about the dubious electricity plan, hoping that all corruption scandals would be brought to court.
“You don't have problems with us; it is us that have many problems with you”, he said in an address to the plaintiffs, notably Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil.
“It is absurd that you are the one filing a lawsuit against us; this is pure intimidation and an act that dashes the concept of separation of powers,” Gemayel stated, pointing out that he will ask to be included in the lawsuit if his name is not listed among the defendants.
Gemayel assured that he will provide the Judiciary with all the documents and evidence that the Kataeb party has regarding this issue, revealing that he would submit a letter from one of the companies that took part in the power tender process, explicitly stating that the conditions set by the energy ministry are tailored to meet the specifications of a certain company.
Gemayel criticized the fact that Lebanon will soon hire four power barges with a rental coast that transcends that of establishing a new power plant that would provide a long-term and sustainable solution, casting doubt again on the exorbitant and suspicious fees determined in the deal.
“The Justice Minister, Selim Jreissati, turned into a judge by confirming that our arguments are false; he has taken sides and made a biased stance which is a form of intimidation,” Gemayel noted.
“A lawsuit should be filed against lawmakers who are keeping mum on the shady power barges deal; it is our duty to speak up against anything suspicious."
“Why didn't you sue Speaker Berri who said that this deal is aimed at "filling pockets with money"? Is it because he is a partner in the ruling class? Are you just attacking opposition figures?”
Gemayel reiterated that no one can prevent people from expressing their opinion, adding that the Lebanese paid heavy prices to safeguard Lebanon as a country of freedoms.
“The Syrian regime failed to muzzle us during the tutelage era, therefore, you will fail as well,” Gemayel affirmed.
“If our silence is considered to be an act of democracy, then they need to re-assess the meaning of democracy in their agenda," he added. “We sought answers and clarifications regarding the power barges deal, but instead of responding, they filed a lawsuit against us. Filing a lawsuit against everyone who criticizes their stances is not democracy”.
Turning to the electoral law issue, Gemayel stressed that the 15-constituency proposal should not be tarnished and turned into a tailor-cut voting system, renewing his call for a voting system that allows people to hold officials to account.