First Published: 2007-06-15

 
Lebanon minister sues TV anchor over on-air gaffe
 

Fatfat angred by NBN’s Darweesh for saying he could be next politician to be killed on air.

 

Middle East Online

Fatfat: ‘a call to an assassination on a media outlet’

BEIRUT - Anti-Syrian Lebanese minister Ahmad Fatfat said on Friday he sued a television news anchor after she made unwitting remarks on air that he could be the next politician to be killed.

While covering the bomb blast that killed anti-Syrian lawmaker Walid Eido on Wednesday, an anchor on the NBN channel of pro-Syrian Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri ridiculed the incident and said Fatfat, the sports minister, would be next.

"I sued because there was an incitement and a call to an assassination on a media outlet," Fatfat said. "I am using the justice system because I consider it an excellent means of protection."

Sources at the television station said Darweesh was fired. In a statement released on Thursday, the station apologised for the "unintentional mistake" and said the incident "does not reflect at all the policies and views of the station".

"The station's administration affirms that it has taken swift measures against the wrongdoers and those responsible for this mistake."

There have been a string of political assassinations targeting anti-Syrian figures starting with the slaying of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in February 2005.

Television audiences could hear the anchor speaking to an off-screen man, saying: "Why were they late until they killed him?" and then both people laugh.

"We are not gloaters," the man says, to which the anchor replies, "It's not gloating, but we're tired of this. There's still Ahmed Fatfat, I'm counting them."

The off-screen man replies, "We still need ... four, five."

Anti-Syrian figures have blamed Damascus for the political killings, although Syria denies involvement. With Eido's assassination, the anti-Syrian coalition movement which holds parliamentary majority, slims to just four.

 

Syria nearly completes surrendering chemical weapons

Netanyahu: Unity with Hamas ‘giant leap backward’ for peace

Kuwait MPs seek to question PM over alleged corruption

UK reaches out to Muslim women to prevent Syria jihad ‘tragedies’

Cleaner power starts being generated in southwestern Morocco

Thirteen killed in Iraq car bomb attack

Yemen Qaeda militants seize hospitals to treat wounded

Second-ranking US diplomat warns of rising extremism in Libya

Algeria blogger who ‘mocked’ Bouteflika goes free on bail

Syria army launches deadly air raid on market area in Aleppo

Armenia leader accuses Ankara of 'utter denial' on genocide

Mauritanian president will stand for re-election

Washington easing aid freeze to Cairo

France, US mull sanctions against South Sudan

Israel weighs response to Palestinian unity deal

South Sudan leader sacks army chief

Jordan amends anti-terror law to curb Jihadist threat

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial