Hezbollah chief calls for death penalty for spies

May 23rd, 2009 - 4:23 am ICT by IANS  

Beirut, May 23 (DPA) The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, urged Friday that Lebanese prosecutors seek capital punishment against recently captured Israel-linked espionage ring members.
In a televised address commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon, Nasrallah said: “I call for capital punishment for all arrested agents and beginning with the Shiite agents first.”

Lebanese authorities are holding up to 30 suspects in what was described by security sources as a “wide-scale investigation into espionage” by Israel. A woman and a 70-year-old man were arrested in the past 24 hours.

At least 18 suspects have already been charged.

Lebanon is also demanding from Israel through the UN peacekeepers, that it hand over at least two Lebanese men who are suspected members of the spy ring and who managed to flee earlier this week to Israel via the southern Lebanese border.

Nsrallah charged that any Lebanese working for Israeli intelligence is dangerous, saying: “Espionage rings do not only work on gathering data. Some carry out operations. Twenty kilograms of TNT were uncovered at the home of one agent - this brings up a lot of questions.”

He called for the full cooperation by all citizens with security forces for uncovering all Israeli agents.

Nasrallah, referring to Lebanese Parliamentary elections June 7, called for “a strong, just and capable state.”

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