Former Lebanese prime minister Sa'ad Hariri on Wednesday called on
Hezbollah to sever ties with four of its members indicted for
assassinating his father Rafik Hariri and hand them over to the
UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon to face trial.
and its chief, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, should put an end to the policy of
evading the STL, cooperate with the tribunal, and hand over the
suspects in order to ensure the establishment of a fair trial,” Naharnet
quoted Hariri as saying.RELATED:
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slammed Lebanon's Hezbollah-controlled government for its refusal to
arrest the suspects and cooperate with the tribunal. “The rhetoric of
attempting to outsmart the public … and attempts to escape
responsibility in capturing the suspects will no longer work and these
matters will only portray the government as failing to cooperate with
The former Lebanese prime minister said that STL Prosecutor Daniel
Bellemare had submitted evidence implicating the four Hezbollah men that
was "too overwhelming to be outmaneuvered.”
The suspects in the killing of Rafik Hariri were linked to the attack
largely by circumstantial evidence gleaned from phone records, according
to an indictment published on Wednesday
after a six-year investigation which polarized Lebanon.
Sealed arrest warrants for the men were issued in June by the UN-backed
tribunal, setting the stage for the case to go to trial, but none of the
four have been detained by Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah says they
will never be arrested.
The suspects are Mustafa Amine Badreddine, a senior Hezbollah figure and
brother-in-law of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyeh, as well as
Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra.
"The four accused participated in a conspiracy with others aimed at
committing a terrorist act to assassinate Rafik Hariri," said the
47-page indictment released by the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal
The Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah -- which is backed by Iran and Syria
-- has denied any role in the February 2005 bombing which killed Hariri,
a billionaire Sunni Muslim politician, and 21 other people on the
The killing plunged Lebanon into a series of political crises and
assassinations that led to clashes in May 2008, and there were fears
that the indictments could revive sectarian tensions in a country still
scarred by its 1975-1990 civil war.
Hezbollah, a political movement, terrorist group and guerrilla army, toppled the
government of Hariri's son, Sa'ad Hariri, in January after he resisted
calls to renounce the tribunal.