|Missing LF man found dead in capital
Discovery of decomposed body sparks outrage
Daily Star staff
The decomposed body of Ramzi Irani
was found in Beiruts Caracas neighborhood on Monday evening, some two weeks after
the pro-Lebanese Forces engineer disappeared.
Police discovered the body, swollen and covered with black grime, around 6.30pm in the
trunk of a late-model car after an unidentified individual reported a strong odor coming
from the car parked across from the Tahiti Tower.
The body was then taken to the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Officials
there cited exceptional circumstances in barring entry to reporters.
According to a distant relative of the deceased who spoke to reporters, the car was
registered in Iranis name but it remained unclear how long the vehicle had been in
Beirut Chief Investigating Magistrate Hatem Madi told The Daily Star that the
hospitals coroner was examining the body to determine both the date and cause of
death. He said no official statement would be made until the coroner completed his
Family members reached at home by telephone refused to comment, but cries of grief could
Order of Engineers president Sobhi Bsat, who visited the Irani family home in Achrafieh to
offer his condolences immediately after word of Iranis death spread, called the
murder a flagrant violation of human rights and a setback for the countrys
civil peace. He called on the authorities to immediately find the culprits and
punish them as severely as possible.
The order, which will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow, pledged that the group would
continue to follow up the issue.
Karim Pakradouni, the president of the Phalange Party, called the murder a violation
of the security of every citizen and of civil peace.
Pakradouni also urged the authorities to act swiftly in solving the case and punishing
Irani, 36, was reported missing on May 8, a day after he failed to return to his Achrafieh
home from his workplace in Hamra.
Earlier Monday, State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum confirmed that a man had been arrested in
connection with Iranis disappearance. However, Addoum did not disclose the
individuals identity, nor the kind of information he might have.
Earlier in the day, Iranis wife Jocelyne visited President Emile Lahoud at Baabda
Palace, saying afterward that the president showed a personal interest in her
The Irani family also held a meeting in Araya, attracting Minister of State for
Administrative Development Fouad Saad, Minister of State Pierre Helou, Baabda MPs Antoine
Ghanem and Abdullah Farhat, Aley MP Antoine Andraos and the mayors of Shiyah, Hazmieh and
Helou said he did not think the investigations up to that point had indicated neglect,
but rather a difficulty in unearthing any clues.
Helou pledged to the Lebanese people and Iranis family to continue our efforts
For his part, Saad said it was the duty of authorities to find Irani, adding that
the government cannot admit its inability to expose a kidnapping of a man in broad
daylight in the heart of the capital.
Iranis wife said her call for the release of her husband
We want to know something that could give us a small hope on his whereabouts,
she said. I urge all those concerned, those who have a father, a brother, and a
missing person to help us on the humanitarian level.
Elsewhere, Parliaments Committee for the Defense of Students Liberties
discussed the issue and received Iranis family.
The committee said the issue was a shock to Lebanese public opinion, and
stressed the responsibility of the concerned authorities to reveal Iranis
whereabouts in order to restore confidence in state institutions.
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