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Mobile Network Technician Sentenced to 7-Years for Spying

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A former employee at the Lebanese mobile phone network, Alfa has been sentenced to seven years of hard labor in prison for collaborating with Israel.

Charbel Qazzi, 56, a technician at Alfa, was found guilty of providing Mossad agents with information about the mobile network systems. The information handed over reportedly included maps of the network infrastructure, names of Alfa employees and a file on Lebanese telephone exchange centers.

When he was arrested last June, it was claimed by local media that he was a critical figure during the 2006 war between the two countries and helped the Israeli forces locate individuals when they made phone calls.

Due to his position within the company, it was claimed that the entire mobile network could have been compromised.

The government has been engaged in a wide-spread clampdown on spying and over 70 people have been arrested since April 2009. As Lebanon remains technically at war with its southern neighbour, being convicted of spying can lead to the death penalty.

Lebanon's two mobile networks are owned by the government, but managed on a concessionary basis by Alfa and MTC Touch.

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Tags: alfa  Lebanon