US condemns Hizbullah threats against Hariri tribunal

PJ Crowley criticizes "maneuver by Hizbullah to try to deny the Lebanese people the truth"; says interference in tribunal "should not be tolerated."

pj crowley 311 (photo credit: AP)
pj crowley 311
(photo credit: AP)
Efforts to "discredit, hinder, or politicize" the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri only increase instability in Lebanon and the region, and "should not be tolerated," said US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley Friday.
During a daily press briefing in Washington, Crowley said, "The tribunal was created at the request of the Lebanese Government to the United Nations, and it’s a professional and independent tribunal with a mandate from the United Nations Security Council and the support of the international community. And politicizing and interfering with the work of the tribunal does not serve the interest of the Lebanese people."
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He added that, "we condemn threats as yet another maneuver by Hizbullah to try to deny the Lebanese people the truth and justice that they deserve. There’s a presentation by Hassan Nasrallah that somehow one has to choose between justice and stability. And we reject that as a false choice."
"The special tribunal was created to investigate a heinous crime and to end impunity for these crimes. And unless and until Lebanon is able to end impunity for these crimes it will be extremely difficult to achieve the peace and stability that all the Lebanese people deserve. That may well be Hassan Nasrallah’s purpose, but it’s not ours," Crowley said.
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah called Thursday on all Lebanese to boycott the UN tribunal investigating the assassination of the former prime minister, saying all information gathered by the team was being sent to Israel.
Nasrallah's comments came a day after a crowd of women attacked two UN investigators and a Lebanese interpreter as they gathered evidence at a private gynecology clinic in Beirut. The women scuffled with investigators and stole several items from them.
The attack underscored the charged emotions behind the tribunal, which Hizbullah says is biased.