Future Movement says only STL can probe murder
By The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Israel dismissed Tuesday as “ridiculous” Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s assertion that his group had acquired Israeli footage implicating Israel in the murder of former Premier Rafik Hariri.
“Everyone in the world knows, even the Lebanese, that Nasrallah’s accusations are ridiculous,” a senior Israeli official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The accusations were “coming from the pressure on [Nasrallah] over the international community’s suspicions about Hizbullah’s involvement in Hariri’s murder,” he said.
Israel has repeatedly announced that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) would indict Hizbullah in the murder.
Nasrallah on Monday unveiled footage he said was intercepted from Israeli surveillance planes of the site where Hariri was killed in a bombing in February 2005.
Nasrallah’s claims prompted France to stress that the STL remains the sole authority in charge of putting suspects to trial while Iran said his presentation had uncovered Israeli involvement in the operation.
“The STL established under UN Security Council Resolution 1757 holds alone the prerogatives to try those who executed, organized and were involved as well as ordered the assassination of Rafik Hariri,” French Foreign Ministry Assistant Spokesperson Christine Fage said.
Nasrallah, who demanded that the government form a committee to study the evidence held by Hizbullah, said his party would not present the evidence to the STL, since he had “no trust” in the body.
Fage stressed France’s commitment to “international justice” and voiced support for the STL’s independent work, adding that her country “always worked against escaping justice.”
On the domestic level in Lebanon, parliamentary majority parties played down the importance of information presented by Nasrallah.
Echoing the French Foreign Ministry, the Future Movement said in a statement issued later Tuesday that the STL was the party authorized to investigate the murder and seek evidence that would uncover assailants.
But Future Movement leader Premier Saad Hariri, who is currently on vacation in Sardinia, made no comments about Nasrallah’s news conference.
“The Future Movement bloc stressed that all data and files available including those presented by Sayyed Nasrallah should be submitted to the STL’s general prosecutor to conduct the necessary investigations,” the statement said.
The statement added that it welcomed all information or evidence that could lead to the uncovering of the murder and stressed the need to “exploit all assumptions and possibilities of the side standing behind the murder.”
Separately, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel said Nasrallah presented “presumptions rather than evidence.”
“If the STL possesses presumptions than it should be compared to those held by Hizbullah but if the STL possesses proof then it should go ahead with presenting its indictment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hizbullah’s domestic and international allies slammed previous investigations by the STL and called for building upon Monday’s presentation as a new foundation for investigations.
“The documents and proof presented by Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that implicate Israel in the operation are interesting and worth studying,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ramin Mahman said.
Similarly, the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon said Tuesday evidence presented by Nasrallah was of major importance and should be taken into consideration. “The STL cannot disregard such information,” Ali Abdel-Karim Ali added.
For his part, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said “the presented information was valuable and valid to constitute the start of a new investigation since [Nasrallah’s] information should be taken into consideration and interpreted more.”
Aoun added that such consideration was necessary “given the flaws we witnessed in earlier investigations and the protection of those who misled investigations,” a reference to false witnesses.
Development and Loyalty MP Qassem Hashem went further to stress that evidence presented by Nasrallah left no room for doubt or interpretation of Israel’s involvement in Hariri’s murder.
UN chief Ban ki Moon refused to comment on reports about any STL’s indictment, stressing that the issue was part of the STL’s general prosecutor’s prerogatives. – Agencies, with The Daily Star
Future Movement says only STL can probe murder
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.
Chronology - Chronologie
Détenus - Detainees - المعتقلون
International Criminal Justice
Videos - فيديو
- Now Lebanon : Crowds Gather to Show Support for International Tribunal, August 4, 2010
- IRIS Institute:La creation du TSL est-elle justifiee? - June 18, 2009
- Al Manar : Interview with Ali Hajj right after his release - April 30, 2009
- Al Manar: Summary of Jamil Al Sayyed's press conference, April 30, 2009
- AFP, Freed Lebanese prisoner speaks out - April 30, 2009
- OTV : exclusive interview with Jamil Sayyed - April 30, 2009
- Al Jazeeera English : Crowds celebrate Hariri suspects'release - April 29, 2009
- OTV : report about Ali el Hajj - March 18, 2009
Liens - Links - مواقع ذات صلة
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
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
* 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
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