Syrian FM warns of strife if Hezbollah indicted by STL


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has been “politicized,” and warned that accusing Hezbollah of former PM Rafik Hariri’s murder will plunge Lebanon into a new round of sectarian violence.

Damascus has “received word that members of Hezbollah were soon to be formally charged with the assassination,” Muallem said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal from New York.

“We are convinced that a condemnation by the Prosecutor of this court against Hezbollah will be a factor of disturbance in Lebanon,” Muallem said.

He said the U.N.’s probe should be replaced by a “purely Lebanese” investigation to ensure fair treatment.

STL was formed as an independent court by the UN to try the killers of former Lebanese Primer minister Rafik Hariri who was assassinated in 2005 .

No one yet knows who will be indicted . STL prosecutor Daniel Bellemare confirmed during an interview last month that all the rumors about the indictments are strictly speculation , since he has not drafted the indictments as of Aug 31, 2010

Syria , Hezbollah and their allies in Lebanon have been actively campaigning against Tribunal after reports said that it (STL ) will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL. Some March 8 coalition politicians have been calling for the abolition of the tribunal, while others have been calling for overthrowing the government before the indictment is made .

Ali Hussein a local political analyst told Ya Libnan: If Hezbollah is truly a resistance movement as it claims then it should move to the occupied Lebanese territories of Shebaa, Kfar Shouba and norther Ghajar because that is where resistance against Israel is needed . He added : Unfortunately Hezbollah has stopped being a resistance ever since Israel pulled out from Lebanon in 2000 and started acting like an armed gang ever since.

Similarly March 14 alliance member Elias al-Zoghbi said on Tuesday according to the National News Agency (NNA) . “If Hezbollah thinks that it is victimized and targeted, it should face the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and not the Lebanese government and its institutions”.