Lebanese wife of Syrian writer indicted in killing

BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese wife of a pro-government Syrian journalist had him killed last month by relatives who shot him repeatedly, according to an indictment reported Tuesday by Lebanon’s state news agency.

It was first thought that the murder of Mohammed Darrar Jammo was linked to the Syrian civil war and the sectarian strife that has spilled across the border.

The charge sheet told a different story altogether.

Jammo, who spoke out stridently in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Lebanese Hezbollah allies, was shot dead on July 17 in the southern Lebanese town of Sarafand, a Hezbollah stronghold. Authorities said gunmen raided his apartment and shot Jammo nearly 30 times.

Suspicion fell on extremist Sunni militants who support the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels fighting to topple Assad in neighboring Syria.

In the aftermath of the killing, Jammo’s wife cried hysterically before cameras and then went to Syria to attend his funeral and burial.

Indications that the brutal killing was not what it appeared began to emerge the next day, when the Lebanese army issued a statement saying it was not politically motivated.

On Tuesday, the Lebanese news agency reported Jammo’s Lebanese wife, Siham Younes, and her brother and nephew were arrested after an investigation showed they were behind the killing. The three were quickly indicted and face possible death sentences.

Officials said Jammo and his wife fought before his death but did not detail the nature of the family dispute.

Lebanese media reports said Jammo had taken to leaving his wife for long periods of time, withholding money from her, and had been planning to divorce her and return to Syria, taking their daughter, Fatima, with him.

The wife was arrested in Syria and handed over to Lebanese authorities.

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