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Court Gives Former Lebanese Minister 13-year Jail Sentence

FILE - Former Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha speaks to the media at his home in Beirut, Lebanon, Jan. 14, 2016. The Military Appeals Court has sentenced him to 13 years in jail on terrorism charges.

Lebanese judicial officials say the Military Appeals Court has sentenced a former Cabinet minister convicted on terrorism charges to 13 years in jail.

The officials say Michel Samaha, an ex-minister of information and close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, will be sent to prison to spend the remaining nearly seven years.

They spoke Friday on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Samaha, who was detained in 2012, was convicted earlier by a Lebanese military court on charges of plotting bombings at the behest of Syria. He was sentenced last year to four-and-a-half years in prison.

Surprisingly, the court agreed in January to release him on $100,000 bail. He was banned from leaving the country pending a retrial.

The new sentence was praised by anti-Syrian politicians.