Lebanon charges 5 for murder plot

BEIRUT: Lebanon charged five people on Wednesday on charges of planning to murder Libya's prime minister to avenge the 1978 disappearance of a Shiite spiritual leader, a judicial official said.

The defendants, three Lebanese, one Libyan and a Palestinian, are accused of planning to send a booby-trapped package to Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi.

All are in custody except for two of the Lebanese nationals.

"This attempt was in revenge for the disappearance of Imam Musa Sadr," said the official, adding that the package was intercepted by Lebanese authorities on June 12.

Sadr, who founded the Lebanese opposition Amal movement now led by parliament speaker Nabih Berri, is still regarded by the Lebanese Shiite community as its key spiritual guide.

Last year, Lebanon issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi over the disappearance of the imam on August 31, 1978 while he was in Tripoli with two companions, who vanished with him.