Lebanon releases actor accused of collaborating with Israel
A Lebanese stage actor was released on Tuesday and cleared of charges of collaborating with Israel and drug possession, while the officer who built the case against him was ordered detained.


Ziad Itani, a stage actor from a prominent Sunni family in Beirut who was arrested in November, told reporters after his release that his indictment was a "scandal" and responded affirmatively when he was asked if he had been tortured into confessing. Lebanon and Israel are formally at war and collaborating with Israel can be punishable by death.


"I am a theater person, people! Why should I be accused of the worst crime ever?" he said.


Itani's arrest and subsequent exoneration were heavily covered by local media, amid a struggle among political rivals with links to the country's various and often competing security agencies. The case was withdrawn from one security agency and passed on to another after irregularities emerged earlier this month.


First published: 03.13.18, 18:12