May 21, 1996 in Nation/World

Former Christian Chief Gets Life Sentence

Compiled From Wire Services

Samir Geagea, once Lebanon’s most feared Christian militia leader, was convicted Monday of murdering a rival and sentenced to death.

It was the second time Geagea has been handed a death sentence for murder. But like the previous one, Monday’s sentence was immediately commuted to life imprisonment.

Geagea, former leader of the now-disbanded Lebanese Forces militia, had pleaded innocent to murdering Elias Zayek - who headed a rival faction in the Christian Phalange Party - in the coastal town of Byblos on Jan. 19, 1990.

Geagea, 45, was sentenced to death last summer for engineering the assassination of another rival Christian leader, Dani Chamoun.

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