Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 18:42 UK

Lebanon general 'was Israeli spy'


A Lebanese prosecutor has charged a former general and three other people with spying for Israel.

Former Brig Gen Adeeb Al-Alam is accused of sending classified information to the Israeli secret service, Mossad.

The information came from Lebanon's Internal Security Forces headquarters.

He has been arrested with his wife and nephew, who are also charged. The authorities are still seeking a fourth person charged with involvement.

The case has been transferred to a military court, and Gen Alam and his co-accused could face the death penalty if they are found guilty.

An Israeli government spokesman said it was their policy not to comment on such cases.

The BBC's Natalia Antelava in Beirut says the retired general is thought to be the most senior member of the group.

He ran an agency which brought Asian domestic workers to Lebanon.

But he also kept an office at the headquarters of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces.

Prosecutors allege the general used the office to send classified information on to the Mossad.

Lebanese media say Gen Alam is believed to have been spying for Israel since 1984.

While most of the media are hailing the arrest as a major achievement, our correspondent says there are people who question why it took Lebanese intelligence so long to track down the suspects.

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