During his speech last Thursday Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised Prime Minister Saad Hariri and said before he traveled to Washington last May he visited him and briefed him about the indictments .
“Out of his keenness to ensure national unity, Hariri told me during the meeting that an STL indictment will be issued and will accuse some members of Hezbollah, but the party will not be connected to the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri”.
But according to local reports Hariri met Nasrallah on June 8 , 2010 following his trip to Washington where he met US president Barack Obama on May 23
An-Nahar newspaper quoted on Saturday MP Ammar Houry who is very close to the Prime Minister as saying that he did not tell Nasrallah that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will indict Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of his father.
“Hariri visited Nasrallah after his return from Washington and he did not discuss the STL’s indictment during the visit,” Houry said.
Houri quoted Hariri as saying, “What happened was that media reports implicating Hezbollah members were published before the PM’s meeting with Nasrallah .”
Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah rejected Saturday the An Nahar report .
The MP said: “This is completely untrue and their claims in their confused tales will not do any good in diverting the public’s attention from the truth of the matter that Hariri knows very well” and that is that he has “definite information over the indictment.”
Observers are questioning Nasrallah’s motive in making up the story about Hariri and the indictments of Hezbollah members. One observer told Ya Libnan: “Nasrallah is trying to undermine the role of the STL by proving that the indictments have been drafted long time ago with the aim of implicating Hezbollah in the murder “. The observer who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons added: “Ever since the STL was formed Hezbollah has been trying to undermine it by trying to prove that it it is biased and politicized”.
Ash Sharq al Awsat’s legal sources expressed surprise over the timing of the leaks. They said that the scenarios and conclusions that some people in the media are propagating lack credibility , since they are not based on proper documentation , since whoever knows (STL prosecutor Daniel ) Bellemare and his ability in maintaining complete silence , strict confidentiality and his way of dealing with the public knows very well that these leaks did not come from anyone at STL, hence these leaks lack objectivity .
The sources added the media reports are trying to undermine the indictments even before they are issued with the aim of ending the role of STL and preventing the prosecution of the perpetrators of the assassinations in Lebanon .
Most of the leaks are coming from the pro-Hezbollah media . The most recent leaks came from As-Safir newspaper.
A report in the As Safir newspaper on Tuesday revealed that the STL will be issuing at least two rounds of the indictments starting from next September and around the end of this year. In the first round prosecutor Daniel Bellemare will reportedly indict three to five members of Hezbollah and in the second round about 20 with various ranks including some key officials.
According to As Safir , Bellemare said that the Lebanese military leaders told him in an informal way that the Lebanese army will not arrest any members of Hezbollah party if indicted by the court.
Nasrallah admitted during his press conference on Thursday that some ( undisciplined) Hezbollah members may be indicted
Photo: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (R) and Prime Minister Saad Hariri during their June 8, 2010 meeting.