Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah cited in his speech on Saturday a document that has no link to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) indictment of Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri according to experts.
Nasrallah claimed that after STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare was appointed, 97 computers that belonged to the international commission investigating the probe were transported through the Naqoura border crossing, taken through Israel and then to The Hague. Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV aired the document on TV
as the evidence.
The experts said that the document has nothing to do with STL and carries a UNTSO ( United Nations Truce Supervision Organization ) stamp.
UNTSO is an organization founded on 29 May 1948 for peacekeeping in the Middle East. Its primary task was providing the military command structure to the peace keeping forces in the Middle East to enable the peace keepers to observe and maintain the cease-fire, and as may be necessary in assisting the parties to the Armistice Agreements in the supervision of the application and observance of the terms of those Agreements.
STL on the other hand is an international tribunal which was created for the prosecution of those responsible for former PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination . Hariri was assassinated on on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon (between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005) if they are proven to be connected with the Hariri assassination. The court is based in Leidschendam, near The Hague, in the Netherlands and it has a field office in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Nasrallah on Saturday blasted STL indictment of members of his group , claiming that they were unjustly accused, reiterating that the resistance would not cooperate with the tribunal.
The STL confirmed the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Hariri on Thursday. 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 and the arrest warrants. Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah while the other two Hezbollah members Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination.
Lebanon has 30 days to find and arrest the suspects but Nasrallah said last night:
“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days, 30 years or even 300 years.”
“We reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon along with each and every void accusation it issues, which to us is the equivalent of an attack against Hezbollah,” Nasrallah added in his hour-long speech.
Nasrallah admitted all the four suspects are Hezbollah members:
“The suspects named in the indictment are brothers who have an honorable history in resisting Israeli occupation.” He said
The whereabouts of the four remain unknown but some reports indicated that the two prime suspects in the assassination already fled to Iran.