Al Manar: Turkey trying to postpone STL indictment


Al-Manar TV reported on Monday that Turkey is working to ensure that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)’s pending indictment is postponed.

According to the report, Qatar and France are also making efforts to postpone the court’s indictment.

French position

But a high-ranking French official said today the international tribunal will issue its indictment in former PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination case even if Hezb0llah tried to topple the Lebanese government.

“No matter what Hezbollah does to obstruct the government or even topple it … the indictment will be issued,” the source told al-Hayat newspaper in remarks published Monday.

“Even if Lebanon stops to finance the court, there are enough funds to issue the indictment,” the source said.

The official confirmed that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was working with all Arab officials involved with the situation in Lebanon to avert a deteriorating situation in the country.

PM Saad Hariri headed to Paris today

Asked about a possible Syrian rejection of the tribunal’s indictment, the source said: “The court is independent and no one can stop its work … All of us, including Syria, should calm the situation.”

“We hope that Lebanon’s political life does not become the victim of an indictment which no one knows when will be issued or whom it will accuse,” the official added.

Ad-Diyar reported last Friday that the Lebanese Foreign Affairs Ministry received a notification from Lebanon’s Embassy in the Netherlands that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will issue its indictment on December 2.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, the Hezbollah chief 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 to support his claim. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL.

Some leaders are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.

The Pro Syrian Al Akhbar newspaper reported earlier in the month that Hezbollah has prepared a plan to take over Lebanon when STL issues its indictment for the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said last Wednesday that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.



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