Lebanon PM demands justice after STL declared Hezbollah suspects killed his father

Former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri , father of PM Saad Hariri was assassinated in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005. Saad Hariri called for "justice" on Tuesday as a UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon declared that the 5 Hezbollah suspects have killed Hariri
Former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri (insert) , father of PM Saad Hariri was assassinated in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005.
Saad Hariri called for “justice” on Tuesday as a UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon declared that the 5 Hezbollah suspects have killed Hariri. His killing was a deliberate attempt to create “horror” and that Hariri was assassinated because he opposed Syrian control of Lebanon

Lebanon’s prime minister called for “justice” on Tuesday as a UN-backed tribunal into the huge bombing that killed his father Rafiq Haririin 2005 entered its last stage.
Saad Hariri was in court in The Netherlands as closing arguments began in the trial in absentia of four Hezbollah suspects over the attack that changed the face of the Middle East.

Prosecutors said the suicide bomb, which also killed 21 other people and wounded 226, was a deliberate attempt to create “horror” and that billionaire former premier Rafiq Hariri was assassinated because he opposed Syrian control of Lebanon.

“There is no doubt that this day is difficult for me, as the son of Rafiq Hariri,” Hariri told reporters outside the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam, a suburb of The Hague.

“From the start, we demanded justice because we believe that justice and the truth protect Lebanon,” added Hariri, recently designated for a third term as prime minister.

The tribunal is unique in international justice because it is trying the four suspects despite the fact that they are not present, as Hezbollah has refused to hand them over.

They have been on trial since 2014 accused of core roles in the Valentine’s Day attack on Beirut’s waterfront targeting Hariri, Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim prime minister until his resignation in October 2004.

‘Darkness and horror’

Salim Ayyash, 50, is accused of leading the team that carried out the attack. Assad Sabra, 41, and Hussein Oneissi, 41, allegedly sent a fake video to the Al Jazeera news channel claiming responsibility on behalf of a made-up group. Hassan Habib Merhi, 52, is accused of general involvement in the plot.

The alleged mastermind, Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, was indicted by the court but is now believed to have died while fighting with the Syrian regime in May 2016.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has refused to hand over the suspects and warned the tribunal “don’t play with fire”.

Prosecutors said their case – which relies on mobile phone records allegedly showing the suspects conducting intense surveillance of Hariri from just after his resignation until minutes before the blast – was “circumstantial” but “compelling”.

Prosecuting counsel Nigel Povoas said the huge scale of the attack “undoubtedly had a political purpose” linked to Hariri’s opposition to Damascus’ long involvement in his country.

“The scene was plunged into darkness and horror, cars were eviscerated, incinerated and on fire, people were on fire. Lebanon itself was plunged into darkness and horror, that was exactly what was intended by the attack,” he told the court.

“Hariri was perceived by those who supported Syrian control as a severe threat to their interests and security, a proxy of the West. This is the reason, the non-personal motive, behind the crime.”

Prosecutors said the suspects had been feted in Tehran and Damascus, Hezbollah’s backers.

‘Huge problem’

As it was, the bombing had the opposite effect – triggering a wave of mass demonstrations that ended with the departure of Syrian forces from Lebanon after a 30-year presence, after which Saad Hariri became premier.

The younger Hariri agreed Syria was a factor but insisted he would not seek revenge when the verdict is announced, most likely early next year.

“Regarding the Syrian regime, I have no doubt that it had a huge problem with martyr Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. I want to deal with this issue as a responsible official who has the responsibility to protect the country and the Lebanese people,” he told journalists outside the heavily secured court.

Saad Hariri is about to start his third term in office after a turbulent patch in late 2017, when he announced his surprise resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia – which he then rescinded.

The absence of the defendants has raised questions about the court’s credibility, while the gap of 13 years since the attack has caused doubts about its relevance in a region transformed by the war in Syria.

ALARABY.UK.

  • Arzna

    It was obvious from day 1 that the Syrian Regime was behind Hariri Assassination Conspiracy and Hezbollah did the dirty work. It took the court too long to find the truth because neither Hezbollah nor Syria cooperated.

    • Niemals

      Be careful what you say about who did what, you can be excommunicated by Hind who is a supporter of Hezbollah.
      Hindler afraid to be directly associated with the Iranian doctrine by posting https://twitter.com/AbyadHind/status/1039360030687076352 by citing @Muraselon_ar that is citing Fars News Agency?
      https://twitter.com/EnglishFars/status/1039137301304098816

      Hezbollah do the dirty work for Iran, that is why Iran can claim that they do not participate in any war….
      However Iran is admitting a military in the Iraqi Kurdistan region 🤐 Iran’s Top Commander Lauds IRGC’s Successful Missile Strikes against KDP-I Terrorists
      General Baqeri confirmed that Iran has attained its goals of targeting a meeting of terrorists and their commanders in Iraqi Kurdistan region with missile strikes, stressing that it indicates the Iranian nation’s power. (Fars News). 😱

  • Y K

    He demands “justice” for his murdered father, yet presides over a government basically controlled by the murderers.

    Again, somebody else is supposed to sort out Lebanon’s problems for the Lebanese.

    Sorry, mate, it ain’t happening this time.

  • Rascal

    A complete and utter waste of time and resources when it is impossible to prosecute the guilty parties, namely Assad and the Iranian Hezbollah for their direct involvement. Not only will they completely deny any and all involvement there is no room to move forward on any punishment for even the lowest of agents involved.
    So again, it was a complete waste of time.

    • Y K

      Sadly, you may have a point here. I’m having doubts even whether this will have any noticeable impact on Hezbollah’s standing. Maybe the verdict will encourage more countries to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization (as if more proof is needed, heh).

      • Niemals

        I am convinced that PM’s demands for justice will not have any impact on Hezbollah’s standing – they feel perfectly safe to have Iran as a backup. 🐍
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce93339524a9987d3268f591d19c23ca3a7e38ab388b2193947954fe7974ca5b.jpg

      • Rascal

        Seriously what can and will anyone do with this verdict? Will Hezb suddenly have a change of heart and own up to any of their terrorist activity, no. They maintain and fully live by denial of responsibility learned honestly from their creators in Tehran who have mastered this tactic. And really is the government going to take this ruling and a bunch of arrest warrents to South Lebanon?

    • Arzna

      I don’t agree that this was a waste of time . I realize this took too long but this is because neither Hezbollah nor Syria cooperated . But this case unmasked Hezbollah. In the eyes of most Lebanese Hezbollah was a resistance movement , but the court proved Hezbollah is a terrorist organization for killing the most popular PM of Lebanon. Hezbollah will no doubt be listed by most countries and the UN as a terrorist organization as a result of the final ruling .

  • No

    Justice is for the living, not for the dead.

    Rafiq’s sons and family deserve that history clearly record who murdered their Father and why.

    That obligation to the truth is neither contingent on Lebanon’s government nor on righting the perfidy of the many Lebanese citizens who are members of Hezbollah or who aid and abet or who passively permit foreign interests to run roughshod over Lebanon’s interest.

    We should not conflate murder with the passivity of a country of sheeple appeasing an interest they’d rather not overpower.

  • Omega

    The STL was established to conduct an honest, unbiased, credible investigation and judicial process but it turned out to be an absolute shame to morality, justice and reason. The fact that it’s still on going – despite its confirmed and ousted ultra-corrupt foundation and process – shows the immoral and vile character of what is called the “free” Western world.

    Not only did “key” witnesses admitted to perjury, the forensic process was manipulated to suit a desired alibi (which failed). Scientific/forensic discrepancies and were also ignored. When the STL was in the verge of crumbling in 2009 after the President of the Commission (a German by the name of Detlev Mehlis with a known history of corruption), new bogus and desperate accusations were made against Hezbollah (pushed by the German newspaper, Der Spiegel) based on a flawed premise.

    Neither Hezbollah nor Syria nor Iran had anything to do with the killing of Rafik Hariri – all pointed/points to the contrary. It was a foreign false flag conducted by the UK-US, Germany and Israel to instigate another civil war (for which 6,000 US Marines were scheduled to be deployed in Beirut to then reach Damascus), weaken Hezbollah in disarming then and remove Syria from Lebanon

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Hariri: an audio tape unveils fabrication of false testimonies

    VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 17 JANUARY 2011

    FRANÇAIS ITALIANO ESPAÑOL
    http://www.voltairenet.ORG/article168180.html

    On 15 January NewTV, an independent Lebanese television network, released an audio tape of a secret meeting, held in Marbella (Spain) in 2005. It was attented by (from left to right on the still used to illustrate the audio tape): Saad el-Hariri (son of the slain former Prime Minister), Mohamed Zahair as-Siddik (the principal false witness), Commissioner Gerhard Lehmann (deputy-chief investigator of the UN Commission) and Wissam el-Hassan (Saad Hariri’s right-hand man and head of Lebanese intellegence).

    During the meeting, the conspirators decided to frame four Lebanese generals and nine Syrian key figures for the murder of Rafik el-Hariri. They also discussed the payment and the protection of the false witness.

    Let us recall that in the aftermath of that meeting four Lebanese generals were arbitrarily incarcerated for four years. Israel took advantage of the Lebanese security services’ decapitation to attack the country. On the basis of M. as-Saddik’s false testimony, the Commission accused the serving Presidents of Syria and Lebanon, Bachar el-Assad and Emile Lahoud, while the United States threatened to intervene militarily to arrest them. The scheme fell apart when the Syrian secret services demonstrated the inanity of the false testimony.

    To the present, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has refused to delve into “the affair inside the affair” (the false witnesses) and has failed to supply the four unjustly incarcerated generals with the documents that would enable them to rebut their accusers.

    German commissioner Lehmann has been charged in his country for being a CIA agent implicated in the abduction, detention and torture of prisoners in “black holes” around Europe. He was formally identified by one of the victims.

    After some time in France, Mohammed Zuhair as-Saddik vanished until he was picked up in the United Arab Emirates and briefly jailed for illegal entry and use of a false passport. During a press conference after his release, he stated his counterfeit Czech passport had been handed to him personally by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Anticipating its imminent debacle, several high officials of the Tribunal have been selling at abusive prices the documents they have had access to.

    According to the Lebanese press, in breach of the secrecy of investigation, the indictment was apparently presented last week in New York by the U.S. State Department to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and to Saad Hariri (then Lebanese Prime Minister). Its publication had been scheduled for Saturday, 15 January, but it was postponed to the 17th in view of the Lebanese Government’s resignation. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her French counterpart Michèle Alliot-Marie commented on the indictment in public, thereby confirming that they had been illegally informed in advance.

  • Niemals

    Addressing thousands near Beirut, Nasrallah breaks down and bursts into tears. 🤥
    He urges Shi’ite Muslims to refrain from cutting faces of their children during Ashura mourning period to repent for their sins.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cbb80f3a5d76045de3d1621036929f8e97e0d80f7455a81198f36bf1bdd7cd7e.jpg
    Still you can see Shi’ite Muslim – that didn’t pay any attention to Nasrallah’s remarks, while self-flagellation in broad daylight on the public street! https://twitter.com/OnlineMagazin/status/1039893733733482497