Patriarch Rai under fire for defending Hezbollah suspects

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai’s got in trouble again with March 14 alliance , this time over defending Hezbollah suspects  who were indicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Rai was quoted by the media as saying on Friday  when asked  why the four Hezbollah members indicted in Hariri’s assassination  have not yet been handed over to the U.N.-backed Tribunal :

“No party has the right to demand the handover of the accused because the accused is innocent until he is found guilty and the matter is entirely left to the judiciary,”

lawyers representing  the Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the  National Bloc  and the “Independent March 14 Lawyers”  responded to Rai’s remarks  in a statement :

“The STL’s statute’s Article 22 and the Rules of Procedures and Evidence’s Article 106 stipulate that the court shall conduct trial proceedings in the absence of the accused, if they have not been handed over to the Tribunal by the State, or if they absconded,”

The statement also said that the aforementioned articles “not only stipulate that the accused must  surrender, but also [that] the state concerned must hand them over to the court to be tried duly, and proved innocent or guilty.”

The statement also said that “the Lebanese Penal Code requires that any accused must be handed over and detained until a final verdict is issued by the Criminal Court or the Judicial Council.”

This is not the first time Rai gets himself in trouble with March 14.

– In an interview  earlier this year with Reuters,  Rai described Assad’s Syria as “the closest thing to democracy in the Arab world.”

– During his visit    to Paris in September 2011 Rai also came under fire from the opposition March 14 parties but won praise from March 8 politicians for his comments. “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is open-minded and should be given more chances to implement the reforms”.

He also indirectly defended Hezbollah’s arms by linking the party’s arsenal to the termination of Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland . Even MP Walid Jumblatt who defected from March 14 alliance was very critical of Rai’s statements.”

  • 5thDrawer

    Geeezzzz .. can’t give the guy one nice news story a day to rest without dumping on him in another? :-/

    • Patience2

       What hath God(the Roman pope) wrought?

  • 5thDrawer

    Geeezzzz .. can’t give the guy one nice news story a day to rest without dumping on him in another? :-/

    • Patience2

       What hath God(the Roman pope) wrought?

  • CrazyArabs

    Why has Yalibnan not covered the Syrains getting caught in south Lebanon with explosives and Israeli weapons?

    • Prophettttt

      Yes ,they answered your call,and put out a story about them ,but with a twist .

  • CrazyArabs

    Why has Yalibnan not covered the Syrains getting caught in south Lebanon with explosives and Israeli weapons?

    • Prophettttt

      Because it does not serve the political agenda of this site.Had this happened before the Syrian war, it would have been covered,and the story would have attracted the highest number of comments.But not now, since all Syrians who are in Lebanon are supposed to be freedom and democracy lovers, so they could not have been involved in anything as criminal as possessing explosive material.Typical Lebanese media coverage,lol

  • nagy_michael2

    Well can’t blame him for defending them. After all he gets visits from Hezbollah MP’s on monthly basis. Maybe they’re just having a nice lunch. Innocent until proven guilty.. I wander where he learned that.. how about asking hezbollah to hand over the suspects and then he can say and only then do not jump to conclusions until these guys are proven guilty. he’s trying to be above the law and mingling more politics than religion? what has he done to help any refugees instead of speaking politics on regular basis. Is he taking Aoun place to be the pope of the middle east now? why don’t he spend money to help the christians who need help in many parts of Lebanon. These people just hog money and keep it instead of helping the poor. They complain about christians immigration yet they don’t even attempt to do anything? why doesn’t admire his masters in Dahia when they help the poor shiites? he is not a man of religion and just plain hypocrites.. the Pope in Rome appointed him cardinal for political reasons and probably as gift back to Hezbollah for organizing such great welcome on his recent visit to Lebanon. We may as well appoint Geagea or Suleiman Franjieh as patriarch in lebanon lol.

    • 5thDrawer

      He’s not a lawyer … obviously doesn’t know law, except from maybe one perspective. And that one doesn’t work.

      • nagy_michael2

        He’s not a lawyer but he is acting like one. Oh he knows exactly what he is doing and saying. Again he gets so many visits from Hezbollah MP’s like never before. what are they doing there eating chicken soup? why doesn’t he attack those who killed Wissam Al Hassan and many more before him since the Syrian withdrawal? did he forget how the syrian regime attacked East Beirut? and we’re not talking about attacking Tripoli.. did he forget how many christians died defending lebanon against Syrian control? since when the syrian regime protected the Christians? all they do is intimidate and create scare tactics against muslims and he’s following suits..Did he forget how hezbollah assasinated many christians and put them in the trunk of their cars..

  • nagy_michael2

    Well can’t blame him for defending them. After all he gets visits from Hezbollah MP’s on monthly basis. Maybe they’re just having a nice lunch. Innocent until proven guilty.. I wander where he learned that.. how about asking hezbollah to hand over the suspects and then he can say and only then do not jump to conclusions until these guys are proven guilty. he’s trying to be above the law and mingling more politics than religion? what has he done to help any refugees instead of speaking politics on regular basis. Is he taking Aoun place to be the pope of the middle east now? why don’t he spend money to help the christians who need help in many parts of Lebanon. These people just hog money and keep it instead of helping the poor. They complain about christians immigration yet they don’t even attempt to do anything? why doesn’t admire his masters in Dahia when they help the poor shiites? he is not a man of religion and just plain hypocrites.. the Pope in Rome appointed him cardinal for political reasons and probably as gift back to Hezbollah for organizing such great welcome on his recent visit to Lebanon. We may as well appoint Geagea or Suleiman Franjieh as patriarch in lebanon lol.

    • 5thDrawer

      He’s not a lawyer … obviously doesn’t know law, except from maybe one perspective. And that one doesn’t work.

      • nagy_michael2

        He’s not a lawyer but he is acting like one. Oh he knows exactly what he is doing and saying. Again he gets so many visits from Hezbollah MP’s like never before. what are they doing there eating chicken soup? why doesn’t he attack those who killed Wissam Al Hassan and many more before him since the Syrian withdrawal? did he forget how the syrian regime attacked East Beirut? and we’re not talking about attacking Tripoli.. did he forget how many christians died defending lebanon against Syrian control? since when the syrian regime protected the Christians? all they do is intimidate and create scare tactics against muslims and he’s following suits..Did he forget how hezbollah assasinated many christians and put them in the trunk of their cars..

  • Btru2u

    He also displays a sociopathic lack of empathy. It seems to be a common trait among the catholic hierarchy. In Australia cardinal George pell was also defending his paedophillic colleagues against their victims ,saying ” if you don’t like what we do , then take us to court , and see what happens”.

  • Btru2u

    He also displays a sociopathic lack of empathy. It seems to be a common trait among the catholic hierarchy. In Australia cardinal George pell was also defending his paedophillic colleagues against their victims ,saying ” if you don’t like what we do , then take us to court , and see what happens”.

  • JS_Bach

    This really shows something. Of all the matters going on in the country and neighborhood, this is the sole issue he picks to speak about. And for a man of a few words in such a top post, it is extremely crucial what you pick to speak about. He speaks not about the ongoing assassinations, not Samaha’s botched bombing(s) and the ongoing efforts to absolve him of it all and get him out, not the crisis of thousands of refugees flowing each day, not the coup government we currently have, not the deteriorating security and public safety situation in the country never before seen not even during the civil war, not the daily slaughter in Syria of double the casualties of cry-me-a-river-Gaza in one week, not the participation of his newfound friends in this very slaughter as part of their “jihadic duties” … no … instead he picks what, for all intents and purposes, is defense / backup / strengthening / endorsement of criminals and their bosses. And I stress the latter. There are no 4 loose criminals here, there is HA, period.

    Quite telling, really. How the days have changed. I would have never imagined such rhetoric and positions out of Bkirki, which was really the last remaining stronghold of something that used to be called “Lebanon”. Riz2alla 3a 2iyyemak ya Batrak Sfeir.

    • Hannibal

      I am a Maronite and he is not my patriarch… That proves that God DOES NOT select clergy, humans do. It is like those lunatics who trace their lineage to prophet Muhammad claiming they are superior… If this isn’t racism what is? wu byelbsuule hall tyeeb yalle bmaslo bissiyye berbaara…

      • Prophettttt

        you calling me Lunatic too,lol

        • Hannibal

          Oh you are also a descendent of the prophet? It is like this dude screwed every woman in Arabia… 

        • Prophettttt

          At least we know who our father is.lol

  • JS_Bach

    This really shows something. Of all the matters going on in the country and neighborhood, this is the sole issue he picks to speak about. And for a man of a few words in such a top post, it is extremely crucial what you pick to speak about. He speaks not about the ongoing assassinations, not Samaha’s botched bombing(s) and the ongoing efforts to absolve him of it all and get him out, not the crisis of thousands of refugees flowing each day, not the coup government we currently have, not the deteriorating security situation in the country never before seen not even during the war, not the daily slaughter in Syria of double the casualties of cry-me-a-river-Gaza in one week, not the participation of his newfound friends in this very slaughter as part of their “jihadic duties“, … but he picks instead what, for all intents and purposes, is defense/backup/strengthening/endorsement of criminals and their bosses. And I stress the latter. There are no 4 loose criminals here, there is HA, period.

    Quite telling, really. How the days have changed. I would have never imagined such rhetoric and positions out of Bkirki, which was really the last remaining stronghold of something that used to be called “Lebanon”. Riz2alla 3a 2iyyemak ya Batrak Sfeir.

    • Hannibal

      I am a Maronite and he is not my patriarch… That proves that God DOES NOT select clergy, humans do. It is like those lunatics who trace their lineage to prophet Muhammad claiming they are superior… If this isn’t racism what is? wu byelbsuule hall tyeeb yalle bmaslo bissiyye berbaara…

      • Prophettttt

        you calling me Lunatic too,lol

        • Hannibal

          Oh you are also a descendent of the prophet? It is like this dude screwed every woman in Arabia… 

        • Prophettttt

          At least we know who our father is.lol

  • FadiAbboud

    What an extreme major difference between him and the last Patriarch.. the former was educated and most often spoke with reason and care and truly valued freedoms and sovereignty..

  • FadiAbboud

    What an extreme major difference between him and the last Patriarch.. the former was educated and most often spoke with reason and care and truly valued freedoms and sovereignty..