MP Qadiri: March 8 is politicizing STL, not March 14


Future bloc MP Ziad Qadiri said on Sunday:“Everything that has been said about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has been politically motivated.”

“If there is any politicization of the STL, it is from March 8 not Marc 14 ,” Qadiri told Future News Television, adding that “STL will submit its indictment based on legal and international standards.”

“All the rumors about the STL are fabricated and aimed at terrifying the Lebanese people” Qadiri said.

His comments come after March 14 general-secretariat on Wednesday “strongly condemned” four caretaker ministers for refusing to cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) prosecutor Daniel Bellemare in providing information and documents.

If caretaker Ministers Charbel Nahhas, Gebran Bassil, Ziad Baroud and Ghazi Aridi remain adamant in not cooperating with Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, they and their party backers would have to face the Lebanese public which is calling for holding accountable ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassins, said the general-secretariat following its weekly meeting.

Nahhas and Bassil represent MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement ( a key ally of Hezbollah) in the outgoing cabinet , while Baroud represents president Michel Suleiman and Aridi represents MP Walid Jumblatt a former staunch supporter of STL who defected last January to March 8 alliance during the selection of a new prime minister.

Nahhas had reportedly told Speaker Nabih Berri that he had stopped meeting the demands of the U.N. commission investigating Hariri’s assassination since last year’s speech by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in which he called on the Lebanese government and officials to boycott the STL and not cooperate with the commission.

Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad condemned the STL requests on Friday and said that cooperation with the STL must be frozen until the next cabinet addresses the matter.

Raad called on supporters not to respond to Bellemare’s requests.

Raad added :” Providing such information to Bellemare is in violation of the people’s privacy.

and contradict with the protocol signed between Lebanon and the court and violate Lebanese sovereignty”

Caretaker Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar told LBC on Saturday the the refusal to cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon “might cause Lebanon international legal responsibilities adding that Lebanon has the right to revise STL requests, but has “no right to hamper the judicial process .”

Najjar also told MTV today: ” Noncompliance with STL’s requests subjects the government to international accountability and this issue leads to several risks as Lebanon shouldn’t confront the international community.”

Last November, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that his group will “cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to arrest any of its members for the al-Hariri killing, raising fears of renewed violence in Lebanon.

The Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005