Hariri tribunal results expected; Nasrallah lashes out

Hizbullah ministers likely to be indicted by UN probe; Nasrallah has blamed the US, Israel, and Sa'ad Hariri for conspiring against him.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 17, 2011 12:24
3 minute read.
Nasrallah, Assad and Ahmadinejad on Thursday

Nasrallah Assad Ahmadinejad 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
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Monday may prove to be a decisive day for Lebanon. The special investigative commission probing the details surrounding the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri is expected to be released Monday by the International Court, Lebanese Labor Minister Boutros Harb announced late Saturday.

According to estimations, the findings are likely to indict a number of Hizbullah members in organizing the assassination, as well as Syrian and Iranian government officials as well.

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Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, the central suspect in Rafik Hariri's case, said in a speech Sunday that Israel sabatoged negotiations following the death of Hariri, and supports the destablization of his country.

"Should one expect that Israel or the United States will allow an Arabic political process to end smoothly? Never," Nasrallah said. Perhaps knowing he faces a UN indictment, Nasrallah also went on to blame Rafik Hariri's son, Sa'ad Hariri, in conspiring with the UN against him.

Nasrallah said he would not support Hariri or his party in the upcoming formation of an new government, a process which Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has already begun, Al-Jazeera reported Monday.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the turmoil in Lebanon



Nasrallah's comments come less than a week after he dissolved Sa'ad Hariri's parliment when he and ten other Hizbullah party members pulled out of the coalition in response to Hariri's refusal to officially disregard the International Court's investigation findings.

The details surrounding the death of Rafik Hariri center heavily around the breakdown of relations between Lebanon and Syria in 2004 when Hariri refused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's request to change the consitution allowing then Lebanese president Émile Lahoud a third term.

Hariri also organized with former US presidsent George W. Bush and his friend Jacques Chirac, then president of France, UN resolution 1559 which stipulated that foreign forces, implying Syria, leave Lebanon, and that Lebanon form a "free and fair electoral process."

Less than a year later, in September 2005, Rafik Hariri was assassinated along with 21 others, when explosives were detonated as his motorcade passed near the St. George Hotel in Beirut. The Economy Minitser Bassel Fleihan and Hariri's bodyguards were among the dead. The UN News Centre had reported in 2006 that DNA gathered at the scene revealed the bomber to be a man in his early 20s.

Hassan Nassrallah, appearing in an obituary speech for the deceased prime minister, called him a shaheed, or martyr.

Following the assassination angry protests erupted in Beirut. The Syrian army soon retreated from Lebanon after 29 years of occupation. In the following elections, the first post-Syrian occupation, Sa'ad Hariri and his party won.

Sa'ad was recently reported to have blamed the Syrian regime for his father's death. In a taped conversation of UN investigator and him probing the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Sa'ad claimed that "Assef Shawkat and Maher (al-Assad) had a huge role in the preparation ... in putting (Syrian President) Bashar (al-Assad) to take that decision."

The tape was aired by New TV, a news agency close to Hizbullah, Sunday, AFP reported. Hariri also said during the tape that UN special envoy Terje Road Larson had warned his father of the Syrian regime, saying that "they are going to kill you."



 The International Court's report into the assassination is expected to blame Hizbullah in large part for the assassination. This would come as part of a chain of blows that Hizbullah has sustained in the past few years, including their loss in recent elections and also the war they sustained with Israel in 2006.

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