Geagea: Hezbollah is forcing us to choose between the tribunal and peace


Let no one be mistaken, the Lebanese people that rose up on March 14, 2005, yearning for a new dawn, is ready today for “fourteen March 14’s” to prevent the downfall of the republic once again, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Saturday, speaking at the annual rally held to commemorate “the Martyrs of the Lebanese Forces” at Jounieh’s municipal stadium.

Geagea added, “some of them are raising the false witnesses issue and describing it as they see fit, issuing their warnings to the republic: you either execute our verdicts against false witnesses, or you are a stupid, collaborator republic, against which only destruction is useful.”

“We’ve been trying hard to tell them that no one can label a false witness as so other than the relevant judicial authorities, and that it’s practically impossible to carry on with the false witnesses case before the issuance of an indictment” by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Geagea added.

“It’s enough to observe the identity of the major forces behind all of what’s happening, so that we become totally confident that if the other camp succeeded in its coup, Lebanon and the republic wouldn’t exist anymore, we’d rather turn into merely a district,” Geagea warned.

He noted that “the gates this time are not wide open in the presence of a government whose core and head are sovereign, in addition to the state institutions – the Judiciary, the army and the Internal Security Forces.”

Geagea accused the Hizbullah-led political camp of fabricating the so-called false witnesses who testified before the international investigation commission probing the murder of ex-premier Rafik Hariri, adding that this camp also “marketed them in the media to the furthest extent.”

“We’ll be the first to demand that false witnesses be tried when they become identified after the end of investigations. Furthermore, we believe that Abu Adas is the lead character in the false witnesses play, and that there’s one director, despite the presence of many actors,” the LF leader added.

“They’re asking us to choose between the tribunal and civil peace, but our answer is the tribunal and civil peace together, because there can’t be real, profound civil peace without accountability and without putting an end to crime and criminals.”

Geagea slammed those “who are claiming to lead a revolution against corruption,” noting that “they have to be the holders of a long history in integrity, transparency and ethics, and these all are totally absent from the behavior of those behind this claim.”

In remarks obviously related to the campaign led by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun regarding the legitimacy of the police Intelligence Bureau, Geagea said: “As to revolution against some institutions and their bylaws, it’s not meant as a revolution to replace outdated laws and systems with more contemporary ones, but rather to change the rules of the current game, as it didn’t enable those behind such calls to achieve their personal aims.”

“Whatever happens, that won’t lead to anything more than a regime change, but the republic shall remain,” Geagea vowed.

On a separate note, Geagea called on FPM supporters to “take a bold decision by returning to the founding principles of the FPM and holding onto them, which would make us instantly come together and start a new day without sensitivities or the remnants of the past.”