Lebanese and 2 Kuwaitis Cleared of Hezbollah Charges

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  • Endorsement or mere sympathy alone does not warrant conviction.
  • Documents from the U.S. Department of State about terrorist cell classifications are simply advisories reflecting another nation’s perspective.

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 24:  The Third Criminal Appeals Court has ratified the decision of the primary court, exonerating a Lebanese female defendant and two other nationals. They were charged by the Public Prosecution with offenses including affiliating with Hezbollah, illicit fundraising, financially supporting Hezbollah, and disseminating information pertaining to the group over digital platforms, aiming to proliferate its tenets.

Attorney Dr. Fawaz Alkhateeb

Representing the Lebanese defendant was Attorney Dr. Fawaz Khaled Alkhateeb of the Taher Group Law Firm Company. He presented the defense, culminating in a memorandum highlighting his arguments. He urged the court to absolve her from the allegations. He stressed the superficiality of the investigations, characterizing them as desk-based, imprecise, and reliant on ancillary evidences—subject to interpretation and susceptible to both truth and falsehood.

Alkhateeb underscored that mere investigations cannot suffice as primary evidence of the charge, especially when the fundamental elements of the alleged crimes are lacking and considering the charitable intentions of the defendant.

In its rationale, the appellate court emphasized the conviction of the primary court is paramount. The defendant’s assertion of supporting Hezbollah, driven by its charitable endeavors, which prompted her to remit funds for religious philanthropic purposes, was noted. Another defendant’s declaration that Hezbollah’s mission is to counter Zionists and safeguard women from Zionist transgressions was also acknowledged as a commendable aim.

The court opined that mere alignment or affinity, in isolation, is not indicative of conviction. Concrete evidence is imperative to substantiate affiliation with the group. The lawsuit’s annexed documents, emanating from the U.S. Department of State, which categorizes terrorist cells, were deemed to be bulletins mirroring an external nation’s stance. It was also evident that the entities receiving the donations were altruistic, and devoted to orphan welfare, mosque constructions, school establishments, and patient care, irrespective of the beneficiary’s status; these are undeniably humanitarian endeavors.

Given these considerations, the appellate court concurred with the primary court’s determinations, interpreting the case’s documentation to acknowledge the Public Prosecution’s appeal in form, but refute it in content, thereby affirming the original judgment.

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