Charbel denies media reports over STL indictments of Hezbollah


Interior Minister Marwan Charbel denied in a statement on Friday media reports quoting him that the individuals indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) are Hezbollah members.

“The interior minister did not declare the political background or party affiliation of any of the individuals [in question],” the statement added.

AFP reported earlier on Friday that Charbel confirmed that Hezbollah members Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hassan Aneissy, Assad Sabra were all indicted by the STL in the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.

The UN-backed international court on Thursday issued its indictment and arrest warrants for those involved in the Hariri murder.

Al-Manar television dismissed the court as “politicized” and said the indictments proved that STL is politicized .

Responding to question about the security situation in Lebanon during an interview with Free Lebanon radio earlier on Friday Charbel said that no Lebanese area is out of the control of the state’s security forces and that no armed groups are deployed anywhere.

There was concern over a strife following the announcement of the STL indictment but Charbel dismissed the possibility of security incidents .

“I think everyone is aware of the situation , and all parties should be united.” He said

The Interior Minister also said that his ministry did not yet receive any official requests concerning the STL’s indictment, adding that it will take the appropriate measures when it does.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri . An STL delegation met with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza on Thursday and handed him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment . Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah.