US News: Lebanon: The now famous Beirut robber has been released and should not be prosecuted

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Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, 42 ans, photographié à travers la fenêtre de la banque qu'il a braquée, à Beyrouth, jeudi 11 août 2022. © AP - Hussein Malla Bassam Al -Sheikh Hussein, 42, photographed through the bank of the bank he has turned, to Beirut, Thursday August 11, 2022.

He had taken hostage the staff and customers of a Beirut bank, exasperated not to be able to access his frozen savings, and had turned into heroes in the eyes of other Lebanese in the same situation as him. Finally, Bassam Al-Sheikh Hussein will not be prosecuted. A judge even ordered his release.

Is this a happy epilogue? The Federal Bank abandoned the charges held against Bassam Al-Sheikh Hussein, a Lebanese saver exasperated who had been guilty of a robbery, in the hope of obtaining justice for her case.

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Justice has renounced continuing him, and a judge therefore ordered his release, we learned Tuesday August 16 via the official Anima agency. This Wednesday, a legal official confirmed to the France-Presse agency that he had been released. Note, however, that the Lebanese state itself can still initiate prosecution, said this source.

A week ago, the individual went to a Federal Bank agency in Beirut, claiming, rifle in hand, his more than 200,000 euros in savings blocked since the historic bank collapse that struck Lebanon.

Surrounded by hostages, Mr. Hussein demanded his money to pay the costs of hospitalization of his father. He had ended up going in a few hours, the bank having, according to the media, agreed to give him nearly 30,000 euros.

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While in Lebanon, the currency has lost more than 90% of its value and that around 80% of the population has plunged into poverty since the drama of 2020, the violence is recurrent between bank employees and savers.

Bassam Al-Sheikh Hussein therefore immediately aroused sympathies. He had even been acclaimed by the crowd after his hostage, and greeted as a national hero. According to the World Bank, the Lebanese authorities have dilapidated the deposits of savers over the past thirty years thanks to a pyramid in Ponzi.

► to reread: in Lebanon, a robber who wanted to do justice himself considered as a hero

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