Inmates surrender after riot in Baabda courtroom

BEIRUT: Inmates who temporarily escaped custody Wednesday at the Baabda Justice Palace are back behind bars, after receiving promises that their trials would be sped up.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that 14 out of 50 inmates who were brought from Roumieh prison to the courtroom broke out of the cage in the courtroom, smashed a window and brandished shattered pieces of glass.

Protesting delays in legal procedures, they threatened to harm the judge presiding over their cases and other court staff.

At least two of the detained men deliberately cut themselves with the broken pieces of glass.

The judge, along with the lawyers present in the courtroom, exited the building, while Internal Security Forces personnel concluded negotiations with the inmates.

Lebanese Red Cross personnel were finally able to enter the courtroom to treat the injured men. Police surrounded the courtroom and began negotiations to secure the surrender of the detainees.

The detainees eventually surrendered when the negotiations proved successful, with Judge Claude Karam promising the detainees that their judicial proceedings would be sped up. The men were then transferred back to Roumieh Prison.

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