This blog of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) aims at granting the public opinion access to all information related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon : daily press review in english, french and arabic ; UN documents, etc...

Ce blog du
Centre Libanais des droits humains (CLDH) a pour objectif de rendre accessible à l'opinion publique toute l'information relative au Tribunal Spécial pour le Liban : revue de presse quotidienne en anglais, francais et arabe ; documents onusiens ; rapports, etc...


July 23, 2010 - Naharnet - Nasrallah: Hizbullah Members to Be Indicted in Hariri Assassination, But We Reject Such Charges

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said a U.N. committee probing the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will charge Hizbullah members.
Nasrallah, at a rare press conference, warned, however, that he stands ready for such a scenario, stressing he would reject these charges.

"I was personally informed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri before his visit to Washington (in May) that the tribunal will accuse some undisciplined members" of Hizbullah, Nasrallah told a press conference via video link.

"That's where things seem to be heading," he added.

He said the imminent decision by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon set to prosecute Hariris' killers, had pushed Lebanon into a "very sensitive phase."

Nasrallah said Hariri had assured him he would publicly acknowledge that it was undisciplined members of Hizbullah, and not the party itself, who were implicated in the murder.

His press conference came amid mounting tension over reports that the STL was set to implicate Hizbullah.

"There is a dangerous plot that is targeting the Resistance," Nasrallah believed.

"We are not at all afraid, nor are we worried. We know how to defend ourselves," he added.

Nasrallah said that since the launch of the STL, he had doubted the impartiality of the court.

He accused the international tribunal of having made the decision to indict Hizbullah before conducting its investigation.

"All the data we have indicate that the charge sheet was written up before even the interrogation of our members," Nasrallah said. "The indictment is ready ... it is only a matter of political timing."

Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive bombing on the Beirut Saint George seafront Feb. 14, 2005.

His assassination has been widely blamed on Syria. Damascus, however, has consistently denied involvement.

STL President Antonio Cassese said earlier this year he expects an indictment in the case between September and December.

Nasrallah on Thursday reiterated accusations that the STL lacked credibility.

"As long as the probe does not look into the possibility that Israel is implicated, we believe it is biased," he said. "Never has the investigation considered the hypothesis that Israel had the means and the motive" to assassinate Hariri.

"Some are saying that our self-defense represents an involvement in the crime," Nasrallah said, commenting on the numerous responses to his speech last week in which he tackled STL's anticipated indictment.

"Stability doesn't serve the interests of some parties at the domestic level," Nasrallah warned.

Nasrallah has urged leaders of the March 14 coalition to "carry out a real revision (of its policies) and acknowledge its mistakes."

"March 14 leaders led the country into the abyss and every other day we had been on the brink of civil war," Nasrallah reminisced the tense period sparked by Hariri's assassination in 2005.

"I tell the Lebanese, particularly March 14 supporters, that we together are the victims of grand schemes, and I urge them to re-evaluate their political leaders."

On the other hand, Nasrallah called on the State to reinstate the "four generals" -- who were in charge of Lebanon's security services in 2005 and who spent nearly four years in custody on suspicion of involvement in the Hariri murder -- to compensate for wrongful imprisonment.

Reassuring the Lebanese people, Nasrallah said: "What's important is that the Lebanese comprehend things well and understand what's going on and we'll be just fine."

He called on Saudi Arabia "to mediate with the capitals of influence to stop meddling in Lebanon."

"As to the issue of the indictment, we are the aggrieved party, and they can do a lot before the issuance of the indictment. Some can address the international community and stop the game because they have the influence and ability.

"I haven't held anyone responsible up till now, and I believe that PM Hariri is responsible and he can take a stance, and I've always advised him to be aware of the investigation and of what would happen. We both will be in tough positions."

Nasrallah noted that Hizbullah has never said it would respect STL's resolutions. "Everyone knows since the very first moment that we're skeptical about the STL. Everyone knows that government's decision on the STL was passed without giving Hizbullah ministers a chance to review it."

As to As-Safir Newspaper's report that Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun had advised him "to change the rules of the game", Nasrallah said: "Aoun did not discuss with me an invasion of Christian areas or even the issue of the government. We are already aware, since a while, of the scenario Aoun tackled, but he didn't mention the government nor the Christians."

"I didn't mean the Christian sect by saying 'the incubative environment', but some want to take it that way," Nasrallah clarified the term he used in his latest speech on the issue of Israeli spies.

"Israel hasn't infiltrated the ranks of any Hizbullah leaders and why are some trying to say that Hizbullah is infiltrated?" Nasrallah wondered.

He noted that his recent meetings with Lebanese politicians as well as President Michel Suleiman's talks with several leaders aim at "pacifying the situation."

"Everyone must act responsibly. The Lebanese must close their ranks to deter the attack on the Resistance."

Answering a question on whether Hizbullah would start a war with Israel in a bid to torpedo STL's indictment, Nasrallah said: "We have never started an external armed conflict, but the July war was already planned for (by Israel) as it has been shown. We don't have the intention to wage or start a war in the region at the moment."

No comments:

Background - خلفية

On 13 December 2005 the Government of the Lebanese Republic requested the UN to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 february 2005 that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others. The United Nations and the Lebanese Republic consequently negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Liens - Links - مواقع ذات صلة

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, David Schenker , March 30, 2010 . Beirut Spring: The Hariri Tribunal Goes Hunting for Hizballah

Frederic Megret, McGill University, 2008. A special tribunal for Lebanon: the UN Security Council and the emancipation of International Criminal Justice

International Center for Transitional Justice Handbook on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, April 10, 2008

United Nations
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 19 Sept 2007
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 27 Mars 2008

Département d'Etat américain
* 2009 Human Rights report
* 2008 Human Rights report
* 2007 Human Rights report
* 2006 Human Rights report
* 2005 Human Rights report

ICG - International Crisis Group
The Hariri Tribunal: Separate the Political and the Judicial, 19 July, 2007. [Fr]

HCSS - Hague Centre for strategic studies
Hariri, Homicide and the Hague

Human Rights Watch
* Hariri Tribunal can restore faith in law, 11 may 2006
* Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, april 27, 2006

Amnesty International
* STL insufficient without wider action to combat impunity
* Liban : le Tribunal de tous les dangers, mai 2007
* Jeu de mecano

Courrier de l'ACAT - Wadih Al Asmar
Le Tribunal spécial pour le Liban : entre espoir et inquiétude

Georges Corm
La justice penale internationale pour le Liban : bienfait ou malediction?

Nadim Shedadi and Elizabeth Wilmshurt, Chatham House
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon : the UN on Trial?, July 2007

Issam Michael Saliba, Law Library of Congress
International Tribunals, National Crimes and the Hariri Assassination : a novel development in International Criminal Law, June 2007

Mona Yacoubian, Council on Foreign Relations
Linkages between Special UN Tribunal, Lebanon, and Syria, June 1, 2007