BEIRUT: Controversial activist Pierre Hachach dropped on Wednesday assault charges against Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil’s bodyguard Joseph Nehmeh. Hachach had earlier accused Nehmeh of beating him over a satirical video in which the activist mocks Bassil over the Cabinet’s electricity reform plan.
Tayyar.org, a Free Patriotic Movement (FPM)-affiliated news website, claimed that Hachach had dropped the case after Nehmeh’s lawyer requested a urine test for the plaintiff.
Both Hachach and Nehmeh, however, denied that such a test was requested.
Hachach told Annahar that he dropped the charges after reconciling with Nehmeh. “We’re both from the same village, and Nehmeh is not my target, but Bassil is,” the activist said.
During a phone call interview with Annahar, Nehmeh said the legal dispute was solved. “Everything was solved, but none of us accepted to apologize to the other, adding “We respect everyone’s opinion, but we refuse any attack on Minister Bassil.”
According to Tayyar.org’s media report, Hachach maintained that Nehmeh assaulted him, charges that the bodyguard denied during a faceoff between the two at a police station in Batroun.
On Wednesday, Hachach published the following post on his Facebook page: “After the confrontation that took place at the police station in Batroun between me and Gibran’s bodyguard, who assaulted me and after a while, we spoke with each other, I dropped the case without any pressure from anyone. I also made it clear for everyone that no one can forbid me from expressing my opinion freely”.
Hachach had posted a video on May 8 mocking Bassil over Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil’s electricity reform plan. The plan was initially proposed in 2010 by then-Energy Minister Bassil. At the time, Abi Khalil was Bassil's energy advisor.
Find below the satirical video posted by Hachach:
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