Justice minister: Funding STL will be up to the cabinet


Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi told OTV on Saturday that any change in the protocol between Lebanon and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will be up to the cabinet and not him.

“When the 2012 state budget is addressed, we will be able to find out whether the cabinet will provide its share of funds to the tribunal or not ,” he said

In his first foreign interview since announcing a new cabinet, Lebanon’s Prime Minister told CNN on July 20 ” We are going to proceed in this tribunal. It is not in our hand to eliminate the tribunal by any means”

Asked about funding it he said :

“It is one of the issues of the protocol and we are going to follow this protocol as is.”

The Iranian and Syrian -backed Hezbollah brought down Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which was widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments in the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM 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.

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.”