LETTER TO GENERAL LAHOUD
FROM DR. MUHAMAD MUGRABY
May 2, 2000
To: H.E. General Emile Lahoud
President of the Republic of Lebanon
When you took the office of president, most Lebanese hoped, on the basis of your personal integrity as well as that of prime minister Salim Al Hoss, that a new dawn of integrity will rise over Lebanon. They are still waiting for a realization, even partial, of this hope. Today, on the eve of the expected Israeli withdrawal, nothing will protect this country except adherence to integrity because it is the bridge of salvation to a future in which the Lebanese can become secure as to their rights and liberties and are able to realize their legitimate national aspirations.
Last Friday, certain newspapers reported that the Beirut Prosecutor, Mr. Joseph Maamari, brought charges against me, without first seeking the authority of the Council of the Bar as mandated by Article 79, Par. 2, of the Code of the Legal Profession, for the alleged defamation of the judiciary. Subsequently, Mr. Maamari told me over the telephone that he based his action on a story published in As-Shark, a daily paper, that he deemed, based on the said story, that I was caught in the act and that, consequently, he ruled that he was under no obligation to seek the sanction of the Council of the Bar! Naturally, this position is unlawful. Faced with this flagrant and open violation of professional immunities which makes a dangerous precedent, I immediately brought the information to the attention of the president and members of the Council of the Beirut Bar.
It is a bad omen, and an eradication of whatever remains of the hopes of the Lebanese, that my demands for integrity are deemed to be a crime under your presidency and the government of Dr. Salim Hoss!
It is strange that responsible officials are hesitant to investigate the facts supported by documentary evidence which I made public, which prove that a number of judges suffer from an integrity crisis, and that the majority of judges are victims of discrimination and all kinds of official pressures including the receipt or denial of generous extra compensations. A fair minded person cannot see in my interventions anything other than defense of the judiciary especially that most judges suffer from the situation and a large number of them are of my opinion.
Tens of thousands of lawyers and litigants are in pain. They suffer morally and financially from the continuation of these bad conditions. So does the national economy and the reputation of the Lebanese government locally and internationally. Hence I ask you to join me in calling for integrity, judicial reform, and the defense of human, civil and constitutional rights. I ask you to put an end to this flagrant violation by issuing a decree to remove the Beirut prosecutor from office and to investigate him, to see to it that this gross error is righted, and to demand the resignation of the minister of justice on account of his political and administrative responsibility therefor.
With high regards.
Attorney at Law
Dr. Muhamad Mugraby