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Immigration minister's husband charged with assault, choking, threats

Police responded to an assault report at Lena Metlege Diab's home in Halifax on New Year's Eve.
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Lena Diab (Red)
Halifax police responded to an assault report just before midnight on Dec. 31 at Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab's home on Houda Court in Halifax. (NOVA SCOTIA LEGISLATURE)

The husband of Nova Scotia's immigration minister has been reportedly charged with assault.

Halifax police said Tuesday that 58-year-old Maroun Diab was arrested early New Year's Day after they received a call shortly before midnight from Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab's family home on Houda Court in Halifax.

They say Maroun Diab was in Halifax provincial court Tuesday on charges of assault, overcoming resistance to commission of offence (choking) and three counts of uttering threats.

Police refused to confirm a CBC report that Lena Diab was one of the alleged victims. The CBC said Lena Diab was among those named in court information.

Const. Dianne Penfound said Halifax police received a report of an "assault not in progress" at the home, on a cul-de-sac near Mount Saint Vincent University, at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31. 

"A 51-year-old woman said she was assaulted by a man known to her and that he had left the residence in a vehicle," said Penfound.

Maroun Diab was arrested "without incident" about 35 minutes later in a traffic stop near Quinpool Road and Armview Avenue, she said.

Lena Diab did not return a phone call Tuesday.

Diab, a lawyer and business owner, was appointed Nova Scotia's first female justice minister after winning office in October 2013 in a Halifax-area riding.

A Nova Scotia native who moved to Lebanon at the age of two, she returned to the province nine years later to escape civil war, according to her official biography. 

She was the first female president of the Canadian Lebanon Society, and speaks English, Arabic and French. She leads the province's Syrian refugee effort, according to her bio.

She has four children and one grandchild.



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