Progress reported over STL arrest warrants of 4 Hezbollah suspects


Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Friday that progress was reported over Special tribunal for Lebanon (STL) arrest warrants of the four Hezbollah suspects in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri.

Charbel did not elaborate on the progress but did indicate during an interview with Daily star that will be published Saturday that Judge Said Mirza is updating him on the situation on the hour.

Charbel also indicated that the protocol signed between STL and Lebanon is based on resolution 1757. The protocol appointed Judge Mirza to pursue the case. He added that neither he nor the president have seen the actual indictment so far .

STL issued the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri on June 30. An STL delegation met with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza 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 Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah denounced on several occasions the court as a conspiracy by the U.S. and Israel and said last year that the group “will cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to arrest its party members linked to the 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Lebanon has 30 days to find and arrest the suspects but Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said on July 2 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.