The owner of the Lebanese Broadcast Corporation, Pierre Daher
Pierre Daher, the owner of the Lebanese Broadcast Corporation, will be prosecuted on charge of fraud, the Lebanese Court of Cassation ruled on Wednesday. The Lebanese Forces Party are suing Pierre Daher for embezzlement, fraud and
abuse of trust in assuming control over the station.
Speaking to Arabstoday, the Lebanese Forces lawyer Naoum Farah welcomed the court decision, but said it would not have any immediate consequence. He said: “This trial could last months or even years.”
The Lebanese Forces originally took legal action back in 2007 against Daher in an ownership dispute over the channel, which was established by the militia in 1985 during the Lebanese Civil War.
The Lebanese Forces also accused Daher of selling the TV station to divide it in several companies.
Daher claimed that the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea sold him the LBC in 1992 for $5 million following a dispute between the government and the political party.
Daher appealed against the charges, without success. A trial will soon follow.
On the other hand, the current administration of the LBC issued a statement denying the "false information in the news" about the decision being definitive and proving the Lebanese Forces' ownership of the LBC.
"Both the Cassation Court and the investigative judge's decisions are just assumptions and cannot be deemed valid. The Cassation Court’s decision literally denies the completion of any criminal elements. The courts of First Instance, the Appeal and Cassation are the only bodies able to judge this case and take a decision. We cannot speculate on the possible outcome of this trial," the statement read.
"In the meantime, nothing will be changed at LBC nor will the company be affected by the decision of the Court of Cassation, both in terms of its administrative structure, ownership of fixed shareholders who are legally protected, or in terms of its information policy and programs and its general sense of objectivity and news impartiality," the statement concluded.