Cabinet postpones discussion of False witnesses, report


The cabinet session convened at the Baabda palace and is being chaired by president Michel Suleiman. Prior to the cabinet session Suleiman held a closed door meeting with PM Saad Hariri

According to a report by Now Lebanon the cabinet will bring up the issue of false witnesses today but will postpone discussions on the matter to another session.

In a related development Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar stressed during an interview on Wednesday with Saudi Okaz newspaper that the false witnesses file will never be transferred to the judicial council because it is not within its jurisdiction.

He told the paper that the file cannot hinder the Special Tribunal for Lebanon regardless of the tensions in Lebanon.

“This is a purely Lebanese file and it cannot impede or interfere in the tribunal’s functioning,” the minister added.

On August 18 the asked Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar to provide a report on the issue of false witnesses in the investigation of the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance has been demanding tht the false witnesses file be handed over to the judicial council.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said last July that he expects members of Hezbollah to be indicted in connection with Hariri’s assassination. Nasrallah restated his opposition to the STL in August, when he argued in a widely televised press conference that Israel could have killed Hariri, presenting what he alleged was Israeli surveillance footage, intercepted by Hezbollah, of the assassination site. Nasrallah intended this information to cast further doubt on the tribunal’s investigation and potentially derail its findings. On the other hand Nasrallah refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim.

Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL

There are concerns that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife