Hezbollah bloc MP Hassan Fadlallah refused any attempts by the cabinet to fund the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) . “No to the tribunal, no to funding the court, ” he said Wednesday morning during the second day of parliamentary session aimed to debate the ministerial policy statement of newly-formed government.
Commenting on the STL indictment of Hezbollah members Fadlallah warned: “Shouldn’t those keen on revealing the truth be also keen on preserving the national contract?” A possible reference to the national pact which regulates coexistence between the various Lebanese sects.
Fadlallah said the international court’s indictment was a US decision and not finalized through a judicial process.
Commenting on the cabinet formation he said : This is “one of the rare times in which a government is formed by Lebanese only.” He added: “The Americans will not find a partner to help them in this government because this cabinet is a 100 percent Lebanese.”
Commenting on the criticism of the illegal non – state arms of Hezbollah by March 14 MPs he said:
“We are proud to belong to the Resistance and to carry resistant arms.” He added: “Had it not been for the Resistance, former Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would have been staying in Baabda Palace and the Lebanese budget would have been discussed in Israeli currency.”
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 Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Saturday that the party would not cooperate with the tribunal.
“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.
Professor Ghassan Karam commented about Nasrallah’s defiance in an article in Ya Libnan: ” Nasrallah has acted as judge, jury and executioner. He has determined that his people are not guilty and that no one should dream of arresting any of them”.
“My only advice to those charged is that they should consult a lawyer as soon as possible…Now is the time for defense.” Francois Roux, the head of the Defense Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in addressing the four Hezbollah members who were indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri
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