The vice-president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, Keysar Trad says Bilal Khazal should make a statement explaining his position rather than staying silent.


Lebanon has issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Khazal and his brother Maher over a bombing campaign in Lebanon against a string of fast food outlets and US interests.

It’s alleged that Mr Khazal sent funds to the men accused of the attacks.

Mr Trad says he’s concerned that an entire community’s reputation is being tarnished because one of its members is wanted for questioning about unproven claims.

“This negative publicity is very frustrating for the Muslim community and it’s totally unwarranted in the circumstances, particularly when we know that the Australian authorities are alert to these allegations and they have known about them for many years now.

“To keep beating up this issue every month or so and giving it so much newspaper space and radio air-time is completely unfair and it is making many people in the community unduly apprehensive.”

The Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says it’s possible Mr Khazal could be extradited to Lebanon, even though there’s no extradition treaty between the two countries.

Mr Trad says no charges have been proven against Mr Khazal and he’s entitled to a presumption of innocence by Lebanese and Australian authorities.

“I haven’t seen the evidence that the Lebanese Government has.

“That is something that is up to them to provide.

But from what I understand, they want to question him and they only want to question him over allegations of planning an event that did not take place.

“So wanting someone for questioning is not necessarily an indication of that person having any involvement in the particular event.

“But it’s just, at this stage, a suspicion that he might be helpful in the investigation.”

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