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Lebanon accuses editor of harming Saudi relations after attacking 'killer' Mohammed bin Salman Open in fullscreen

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Lebanon accuses editor of harming Saudi relations after attacking 'killer' Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia is closely allied with one of Lebanon's main political blocs. [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 October, 2018

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Charles Ayyoub, the publisher and managing editor of Al-Diyar daily, wrote a column blaming Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and civilian deaths in Yemen.

Lebanon's acting justice minister has filed a court case against a newspaper publisher, accusing him of harming relations with Saudi Arabia.

Charles Ayyoub, the publisher and managing editor of Al-Diyar daily, wrote a column blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the deaths of civilians in Yemen.

He called on the Saudi ambassador to leave Lebanon, and used the terms "dogs" and "pigs" 22 times in describing the two Saudi officials.

Acting Lebanese Justice Minister Selim Jreissati on Tuesday asked the prosecutor general to initiate proceedings against Al-Diyar, saying the article violated Lebanese law and endangered the country.

Saudi Arabia is closely allied with one of Lebanon's main political blocs, led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and has provided extensive financial aid to the country.

Riyadh's regional nemesis Iran backs the powerful Hizballah movement.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain paperwork ahead of his upcoming wedding. His body has not yet been found.

Turkey had said the murder of Khashoggi was "savagely planned".

After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that the murder was premeditated, but blamed it on a "rogue operation".

Hariri, a dual Saudi citizen, threw his support behind Saudi Arabia as it faced international outrage Khashoggi's murder.

In November last year, Hariri announced he was stepping down in a televised address from the Saudi capital, causing observers to speculate he was kidnapped and held against his will.

After French mediation, he rescinded his resignation the following month, and Saudi Arabia has denied intimidating Hariri into quitting his post.

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