UN chief: STL must be permitted to continue its work


There must be no interference or obstruction by any person or country in the “calm judicial progress of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL),” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.

“The tribunal must be permitted to continue its work,” Ban said in a press conference on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“The politicization of this tribunal has caused me great worry. It is not subject to politicization.”

He called on the “Lebanese people and government to re-establish political stability.”

The Future Movement MPs asked PM Designate Mikati to clarify his stance on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and the illegal weapons ( Weapons outside the control of the Lebanese army) , MP Fouad Siniora said on Thursday after the bloc met with Mikati for consultations on cabinet formation.

Mikati, backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies , was appointed Tuesday by president Michel Suleiman as PM-designate to form and head the next cabinet , giving Hezbollah and its allies increased leverage in the country and provoking widespread protests.

Hezbollah brought down Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s ( STL) indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 .

Mikati said on Tuesday following his appointment that he will seek to form a cabinet with the Future Movement and its allies.

He also said that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is a reality and cannot be abolished.

“Matters of disputes can only be resolved through dialogue.” He said

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also admitted last week that STL cannot be abolished but reportedly demanded that Mikati should adopt a 5 point plan before nominating him as the country’s PM.

The five point plan calls for:

1- Withdrawing the cooperation protocol between Lebanon and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) .

2- Withdrawing the Lebanese judges from the STL

3- Halting the funding of the tribunal

4- Referring the false witnesses file to the Lebanese judiciary council

5- Bolstering Lebanese-Syrian ties

Mikati was a staunch ally of Hariri during the 2009 parliamentary elections. His change of position has puzzled some Sunnis.

Mikati dodged a question on the 5-point plan issue on Monday, but observers believe that Hezbollah would not have supported Mikati’s election without a guarantee that he would discredit the tribunal.

In interview with AFP on Tuesday Mikati confirmed that he was nominated by Hezbollah only to protect the resistance,( in reference to Hezbollah.)

“My nomination by Hezbollah does not make me committed to any political stance other than protecting the Resistance.” Mikati said

According to analysts the issue in Lebanon is not who is Mikati as much as how did Mikati get nominated and by whom