The secretariat of Lebanon’s General Labor Confederation on Monday approved the resignation of the body's head, Bechara Asmar, after he insulted late Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir in a leaked video that caused widespread uproar over the weekend.
Speaking following an exceptional meeting, the confederation's deputy-head Hassan Fakih renewed utter condemnation of what was said in the leaked video, offering apologies to the Lebanese, notably the Christians, as well as the Maronite Patriarchate for the insulting comments.
Fakih will now become in charge until elections are held to elect a new president for the confederation.
The secretariat, however, defended Asmar, calling for his release and claiming that there's no legal justification to terminate his job contract at the Beirut Port's grain silos.
Before beginning a press conference last week, Asmar was heard mocking the late cardinal, one day after he was laid to rest, being unaware that his microphone was already turned on.
A sweeping wave of condemnation prompted the arrest of Asmar on Saturday amid mounting calls for his resignation.
After filing a defamation and contempt lawsuit against Asmar, the public prosecutor in Beirut referred the latter to Beirut's First Investigative Judge Ghassan Ouaydat who in turn referred him to Judge George Rizk for further questioning.
The five individuals who appear to be laughing at Asmar’s comments in the leaked video were released after undergoing questioning.