Beirut- Lebanon's parliament majority leader MP Saad Hariri on Saturday attacked Speaker Nabih Berri for declining to call for an extraordinary parliamentary session to endorse a Special International Tribunal.
The purpose of the tribunal is to try the suspects in the assassination of his father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, and related crimes.
"When is the parliament speaker going to let go of the legislature so the tribunal draft can be ratified?" Hariri said in an interview with the daily Al Hayat published Saturday.
"Does that match his concern in finding the killers of (Rafik) Hariri?" the outspoken MP asked Berri.
Hariri questioned how Berri can declare his father a "martyr of Lebanon" without seeking to ratify the tribunal plan "with the excuse of waiting until after the completion of the investigation before discussing the court's formation."
"The question is beyond Berri's feeling towards his friend and longtime associate in liberating, rebuilding and developing the south," Hariri went on.
He said Berri, who is a lawyer, is aware of the procedures for setting up an international tribunal -- from choosing a location to appointing its members -- "and all that take much more time than the probe itself."
"It has become clear that the regional party which does not support Saudi-Iranian attempts in finding an end the Lebanon crisis, is the same party which is against the establishment of the tribunal, and is the same party which the March 8 Forces are honored to be allied with," Hariri said in an indirect reference to Syria, which was accused of being behind the murder of Hariri and the other crimes that followed.
On the issue of the commemoration of his slain father, Hariri said the March 14 Forces as well his family are planning to hold a memorial service Feb. 14 at Martyr's Square, where Hariri's graveyard is.
Meanwhile, General Michel Aoun said he was surprised by the March 14 coalition's insistence on "changing Lebanese criminal laws in the tribunal plan," saying he had no problem personally with the international court.
"We have supported the international probe committee and we have supported the international tribunal to try the criminals and we still do," Aoun declared.
"I have no doubts myself in anything. Therefore, I'm not terrified, and the question is what do they (rival camp) want?" Aoun said in a separate interview with Al Hayat also published Saturday.
"Why do we want to introduce amendments to the Lebanese laws? Why do we want a law for trying presidents?" Aoun questioned.
He said that under the Lebanese law a doer, a culprit, a conspirator, a provoker, and an accomplice are all tried.
If the president is found guilty of any of the above mentioned crimes he will be punished, Aoun added.
Picture: MP Saad Hariri . The background is a poster of his father former PM Rafik Hariri.
Source: Naharnet, Ya Libnan
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