“I Knew the late PM Rafik Hariri very well and I know that had he been here today he would not have granted his vote of confidence to this cabinet ” : Former PM and current Future Movement bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora told the parliament during the third session to debate the ministerial policy statement of the cabinet of PM Najib Mikati.
Siniora said that the collapse of former PM Saad Hariri’s cabinet was against the will of the Lebanese people and “was the result of the use of arms and not elections.”
The former PM reiterated that reaching majority through the use of arms is rejected.
Siniora said that these ( Hezbollah ) weapons that were protected to confront Israel now have different purposes and have been used against innocent people. This is in reference to May 2008, when Hezbollah and its allies took over half of Beirut after the government tried to shut down the Shiite groups illegal communications network.
“Where is this behavior taking the country? Until when will it continue?”
“We only ask for justice, which is the basis of dignity,” he said. “Is asking for the truth something forbidden?”
Siniora also said the ministerial statement of the newly-formed cabinet tackles many issues but none has tangible content.
In response to the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition’s accusation that the March 14 alliance is bitter over the loss of power and wants revenge, Siniora said that “his party never aimed for revenge and never did it use the blood of the martyrs for political purposes.”
“We always wanted to preserve Lebanon,” he added.
The Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah and its allies deliberately brought down the government of outgoing PM Saad Hariri in January in anticipation of the indictment in the murder of his father .
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