Lebanon frees US man as Iran releases US Navy vet

Lebanon frees US man as Iran releases US Navy vet
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2006 file photo, a Lebanese flag flies over Khiam prison in the southern town of Khiam, Lebanon. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said Thursday, March 19, 2020, that Amer Fakhoury, 57, of Dover, N.H., was was freed from the prison. Fakhoury had been jailed since September 2019, was responsible for the killings and abuse of prisoners in Lebanon as part of an Israeli-backed militia two decades ago. (Source: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire says a U.S. citizen has been freed from Lebanon, where he faced decades-old murder and torture charges.

Fifty-seven-year Amer Fakhoury is a Lebanese-American restaurant owner from Dover, New Hampshire. He had been jailed since September. Lebanese officials alleged that he was responsible for the killings and abuse of prisoners as part of an Israeli-backed militia two decades ago.

His case had put a significant strain on already troubled ties between the U.S. and Lebanon with lawmakers in Washington threatening to withhold critical aid to, and impose sanctions on the Lebanese military.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran has granted a medical furlough to a U.S. Navy veteran imprisoned for more than a year.

Michael White is now in the custody of the Swiss Embassy and must remain in Iran. Pompeo says the U.S. government will work for his full release.

The furlough comes as Iran works to curb the spread of coronavirus.

White had been imprisoned since July 2018. He had been visiting a girlfriend when he was detained. White was convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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