Lebonan

UN tribunal politicized, Hezbollah says

sheikh-naim-qaseemHezbollah has fired an acerbic broadside at the UN tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, saying it is politically motivated.

“Hezbollah is against the International Tribunal because we are absolutely confident that it (the party) is not responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem told the Qatari newspaper  al-Watan.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon plans to charge some Hezbollah members in connection with the assassination of Hariri, who was killed in a massive car bomb explosion on February 14, 2005 that also killed 22 other people.

However, Qassem said Hezbollah is opposed to the tribunal since it “has gone beyond its target of finding the truth” behind the 2005 assassination.

Hezbollah has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Hariri assassination, saying it does not recognize the tribunal because it is an “Israeli project” aimed at undermining the resistance movement.

The resistance movement also accuses the tribunal of basing its investigations on testimonies provided by “false witnesses.”

In addition, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general stated that Hezbollah members will not hand themselves over to the tribunal.

Meanwhile, a Hezbollah MP, Ali Ammar, reiterated the stance of Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, saying the group will protect officials who refuse to cooperate with the tribunal.

“Those accusing Hezbollah of threatening the state are themselves working with the real threat, which is the Zionist project to sow division in Lebanon,” Ammar told the al-Manar television network.

In August, Nasrallah provided a series of documents proving Israel’s involvement in Hariri’s murder.

The evidence included footage taken by Israeli drones of the routes frequented by Hariri prior to his assassination as well as recorded confessions by Israeli fifth columnists substantiating that the murder of the Lebanese prime minister was carried out on orders from Tel Aviv.

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