Lebanon’s top Christian spiritual leader, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir said in an interview on Monday with MTV that “the way Hezbollah is acting gives the impression that they might seize power” in Lebanon.
Sfeir said: “We hope no Lebanese were involved in the murder of ( Former Lebanese PM Rafik ) Hariri’s murder , but if those involved are Lebanese, every criminal must face punishment.”
Sfeir said he is not against anyone, but he is only expressing his viewpoint regarding the current events and added that “Bkirki’s gates are open to everyone.”
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.
Hezbollah has spearheaded several campaigns with the aim of discrediting STL. On Monday Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Hezbollah’s campaign against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon . He announced after a meeting with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani that any indictment handed down by a U.N.-backed court looking into the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will be “null and void.”
Some leaders are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Sunni Shitte 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 the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said on November 18 that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.
On December 7 a leading Israeli Military Intelligence official expressed concerns that Hezbollah might seize control of Lebanese government institutions .
“Dozens will be killed when Hezbollah uses force and takes over government institutions,” senior Military Intelligence official Colonel Yossi Adler told the Knesset in ‘a possible scenario if Hezbollah is indicted by STL.’
March 8 politicians have called for the cabinet to task the Justice Council with investigating the so called false witnesses who reportedly gave unreliable testimonies to the international probe into the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri. However, March 14 politicians believe that the regular judiciary should handle the matter.
Chairman of the Judicial and Administration Parliamentary Committee MP Robert Ghanem during an interview with “Arab week” and “Magazine” on Thursday explained the issue of false witnesses :
“ Article 408 and some other articles of the Lebanese Penal Code define the false witness as the person who testifies to the judicial authorities and provides contradictory testimony , but the testimony before the security forces or law enforcement authorities ( not in front of a judge ) is considered a false testimony”.