Beirut judge postpones questioning of Lebanese-American who worked at Khiam jail
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Beirut judge postpones questioning of Lebanese-American who worked at Khiam jail

Hearing delayed in case against Amer Fakhoury, who was a member of an Israel-backed militia, due to his deteriorating health in jail

In this June 2016 photo provided by Guila Fakhoury, her father Amer Fakhoury holds his granddaughter, Kira, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. (Guila Fakhoury via AP)
In this June 2016 photo provided by Guila Fakhoury, her father Amer Fakhoury holds his granddaughter, Kira, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. (Guila Fakhoury via AP)

BEIRUT — A Lebanese judge on Monday postponed the questioning of a Lebanese-American who confessed he’d worked at a jail run by an Israeli-backed militia, state-run National News Agency reported.

The agency said that because Amer Fakhoury is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, the investigative judge’s questioning session will be postponed until February 17. Fakhoury’s family said doctors have told them his condition is life threatening. In addition to an infection and a bleeding disorder, doctors believe he’s developed an aggressive form of lymphoma.

The 57-year-old was detained after returning to his native Lebanon from the US in September. He had worked as a senior warden at the Khiam Prison in southern Lebanon. It was run by an Israeli-backed militia, known as the South Lebanon Army, until Israel ended its 18-year occupation of the area in 2000. The two countries technically remain at war.

Several former inmates at Khiam Prison filed a lawsuit against Fakhoury after he returned to Lebanon, blaming him for cases of torture.

In this May 2019 photo provided by Guila Fakhoury, her father Amer Fakhoury, second from right, gathers with family members at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire. (Guila Fakhoury via AP)

Fakhoury’s family insists he had no direct contact with prisoners and never abused anyone, and there was never an abuse allegation against him.

Fakhoury’s family and lawyer accuse authorities of torturing him. In early visits, the attorney, Celine Atallah, and Fakhoury’s wife, Michelle, saw scratches on his face and marks on his neck. He also appeared to have lost a lot of weight.

Hundreds of former Lebanese members of the SLA militia had fled to Israel, fearing reprisals if they remained in Lebanon. Others stayed and faced trial, receiving lenient sentences.

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