BEIRUT: The Information Division of the Lebanese Internal Security arrested 70-year-old Lebanese French businessman Ziad Takieddine on Friday after receiving a telegram from Interpol.
The telegram to the Lebanese Public Prosecution Office included an arrest warrant issued by French authorities for Takieddine’s involvement in corruption and in financing the campaign of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Takieddine has been sentenced by a French court to five years in prison.
A judiciary source confirmed Takieddine’s arrest to Agence France Press (AFP) without revealing details.
Haitham Ezzo, a former lawyer for Takieddine, told Arab News that this was the second time the businessman has been arrested since returning to Lebanon.
“Takieddine was arrested by Saida’s judiciary brigade on November 13 because of a case that has nothing to do with the French cases. Takieddine ran away from France before a verdict was issued against him, as he is wanted in a case related to former President Nicolas Sarkozy. He was arrested by the Lebanese judiciary based on a case of fraud filed by another lawyer against him, and he was held for 10 days. As his lawyers, we were able to bail him out,” he said.
Ezzo noted that Takieddine was staying in Beirut before and after his first arrest, and added that he was no longer representing the businessman because, following his release from prison three weeks ago, “we asked him to pay our dues which he did not do, so we chose to deliver him a warning, and we have nothing to do with his second arrest.”
Takieddine belongs to a Druze family from Baakleen of the Chouf district in Mount Lebanon. He is a man with a wide network of international connections and had reportedly been a broker in numerous international arms deals. He has been described by UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph as an arms dealer.
Judiciary sources told Arab News that Takieddine has “many cases” filed against him in Lebanon and abroad.