A Lebanese court on Thursday sentenced two men to death on charges of espionage and involvement in the killing of senior members of Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups.
A military tribunal convicted the former member of Lebanon’s security force Mahmoud Qassem Rafeh, 63, of "collaboration and espionage on behalf of the Israeli enemy."
The retired police officer who was arrested in 2006 admitted last year to providing intelligence for Israeli spying agents over a 13-year period.
He was also charged with involvement in a 2006 car bomb attack in the southern coastal town of Sidon which killed brothers Mahmoud and Nidal Mazjoub of the Islamic Jihad movement.
The death sentence handed to Rafeh came as he awaits trial for the murder of Hezbollah officials Ali Hassan Dib in 1998 and Ali Hussein Saleh in 2003, as well as the 2002 murder of Jihad Jibril, the son of Ahmad Jibril, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
The other defendant, Palestinian Hussein Khattab, was convicted — in absentia — of being involved in the murders of members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
Under the Lebanese law, the convicts have the right to appeal while any death sentence needs the endorsement of both the prime minister and the president for implementation.
More than 70 people have been arrested on suspicions of links with Israeli intelligence services during a 2009 operation to track down and eradicate Tel Aviv’s espionage rings in Lebanon