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Lebanese To Appear In Thai Court On Weapons Charge

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Lebanese to appear in Thai court on weapons charge

BANGKOK, March 20, 2012 (AFP) - A Lebanese man with alleged links to the Hezbollah militant group arrested in Thailand will appear in court Wednesday on charges of breaking weapons control laws, a senior prosecutor said.

The suspect, who is also believed to have a Swedish passport, was arrested in Bangkok in January and police later found a large amount of chemicals that could be used to make a bomb at an address he rented.

"Prosecutors agreed to charge him with breaking weapons control laws," Pongniwat Yuthaponboripan, director general of the department of criminal litigation, told AFP Tuesday.

Ammonium nitrate is commonly used in agriculture, but mixed with other substances can make a bomb. Possession of the chemical requires a permit in Thailand.

Pongniwat said police investigators had concluded one charge against him and, depending on the evidence, he could later also be charged with terrorism.

The court will hear his plea on Wednesday.

Thai authorities allege he has links to Hezbollah, an Iranian- and Syrian-backed Muslim Shiite group that is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington.

Prior to his arrest, the United States had warned of a "serious" threat of a terrorist attack on tourist areas in Bangkok.

The country has been further shaken by a string of botched blasts in the capital on February 14 in an alleged plot to kill Israeli diplomats.

Thai police are holding two Iranians, one of whom was badly hurt as he hurled a bomb at police while fleeing.

Another suspect was detained in Malaysia, while arrest warrants have been issued for two more Iranians believed to have left the country.

Israel has blamed Iran over the Bangkok blasts, as well as attacks on Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia a day earlier.

Thai police have said they believe that Israeli diplomats were the intended target of the botched plot but have yet to produce hard evidence.

The safety scares dealt a new blow to the kingdom's tourism industry, still recovering from the fallout of months of devastating floods last year, as well as several rounds of political unrest in recent years.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2012-03-20

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"Lebanese to appear in Thai court on weapons charge"

More tourism.. airport is going to be full..cheesy.gif

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"Lebanese to appear in Thai court on weapons charge"

More tourism.. airport is going to be full..cheesy.gif

Full of terrorists you mean? This is the "hub" of terrorism smile.png

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I am sick of all this bigotry, what on earth have the womens' sexuality got to do with it, aren't straight women capable of being terrorists too?

clap2.gif clap2.gif clap2.gif

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Lebanese pleads not guilty to Thai weapons charge

BANGKOK, March 21, 2012 (AFP) - A Lebanese man arrested two months ago in Thailand on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking weapons control laws, his lawyer said.

Atris Hussein was arrested in Bangkok in January and police later found a large amount of chemicals that can be used to make a bomb at an address he rented.

According to the charges, Hussein and some unidentified accomplices had packed more than six tonnes of ammonium nitrate into bags.

"He pleaded not guilty on this charge," said lawyer Withaya Buranasil, who met his client for the first time on Wednesday before his appearance at a Bangkok court.

Hussein will next appear for a pre-trial hearing in May, Withaya said, adding that he did not plan to seek bail at present.

If found guilty, he could face five years in jail or a 50,000 baht ($1,700) fine.

Ammonium nitrate is commonly used in agriculture, but mixed with other substances can make a bomb and possession of the chemical requires a permit in Thailand.

Prior to his arrest, the United States had warned of a "serious" threat of a terrorist attack on tourist areas in Bangkok.

The country has been further shaken by a string of botched blasts in the capital on February 14 in an alleged plot to kill Israeli diplomats.

Thai police are holding two Iranians, one of whom was badly hurt as he hurled a bomb at police while fleeing.

Another suspect was detained in Malaysia, while arrest warrants have been issued for two more Iranians believed to have left the country.

Israel has blamed Iran over the Bangkok blasts, as well as attacks on Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia a day earlier.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2012-03-21

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Lebanese suspect swears innocence

The Nation

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BANGKOK: -- A Lebanese man with suspected ties to Hezbollah appeared at Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court yesterday at 10am and denied charges of possessing bomb-making materials.

The court scheduled May 21 to inspect evidence.

Atris Houssein, 47, who also holds a Swedish passport, was arrested in Bangkok in January for allegedly breaking weapons-control laws.

The prosecution said that, from January 1, 2010, to January 16, 2012, Houssein and his accomplices gathered a large quantity of chemicals that could be used to make a bomb at his rented place.

After the indictment was read and translated, Houssein, appearing with a short haircut and brown prisoner uniform, maintained that he was not guilty and said he already had a lawyer to fight the court battle.

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-- The Nation 2012-03-22

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Houssein, appearing with a short haircut and brown prisoner uniform

the prisoner uniform looks yellow to me... or is it perhaps blue? huh.png

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