Investigative Military Judge Fadi Sawwan requested Thursday the death penalty for 26 of the 29 suspects accused in the case of the seven Estonians (pictured) held captive in 2011 for over four months.
Sawwan indicted the 26 suspects, only nine of whom have been apprehended so far, with forming a mob aimed at carrying out criminal acts against people, undermining the state’s authority, kidnapping the seven Estonians in 2011 and establishing ties with “terrorist organization Fatah al-Islam.”
The three remaining suspects were indicted with misdemeanor counts.
Seven Estonian cyclists were abducted by masked gunmen on March 23, 2011, while traveling through the Bekaa Valley shortly after visiting Syria. They were released unharmed on July 14.
The kidnapped Estonians say that they were held in both Syria and Lebanon.
Sawwan’s indictment said the 26 suspects were in contact with Fatah al-Islam in pursuit of preparing explosive belts and detonators.
They are also accused of using unlicensed military weapons and the killing of Internal Security Forces member Rashid Sabri.
Sabri was killed on April 10 during an exchange of fire with Darwish Khanjar, who was wanted for the murder of a Lebanese Army soldier and for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the Estonians.
The 26 suspects were also indicted for shooting at members of the police.
Arrest warrants have been issued against the suspects who are still at large. Those in custody will be transferred to the military tribunal for trial.
One Syrian and one stateless man are among the 29 suspects.