Apparently that was Lebanon’s Consul General in Sydney, Robert Naoum’s defense for not having to pay legal fees. I reported on this back in August 2009; Nabil Dannawi, a Sydney resident, wrote on his Arabic website, www.alankabout.com, that Robert Naoum is a zionist. Naoum sued for defamation and lost. He appealed and lost again; to add insult to injury, he was required to pay all legal fees including Dannawi’s.

And now it seems, things are getting worse for Robert:

The Lebanese consul-general in Sydney, Robert Naoum, has had more than $1300 in savings stripped from his Australian bank account and he may have his wages from the Lebanese government ”docked” until he pays off the legal bills he has been steadily accruing after a failed defamation case against a journalist.

It is believed to be the first time in Australia such action has been taken against a consular officer or foreign diplomat, and it doesn’t stop there.

Mr Naoum may be forced to reveal publicly details of his personal finances including his income, assets, properties, cash, loans and living expenses unless he pays legal bills and costs which could now total more than $50,000.

Naoum has argued that he has diplomatic immunity but that has been rejected by the courts. So Naoum decided to play the “protect excellent relations” card:

In the Local Court, Mr Heilpern rejected claims by Mr Naoum’s barrister that the court should grant him immunity from the debt in the interest of good relations between Australia and Lebanon and to ”prevent warfare from breaking out between Lebanon and Australia”.

So now he has have the authority to declare war? They don’t even have the authority to issue passports! I think its high-time Robert Naoum returns to Lebanon.

Lebanese consul-general in Sydney, Robert Naoum

Lebanese consul-general in Sydney, Robert Naoum