Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday ruled out the arrest of four members of his group indicted by a UN court for the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
In his first reaction to the charges by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Nasrallah rejected “each and every void accusation” made by the Netherlands-based court, which he said was heading for a trial in absentia.
“We reject the Special Tribunal for Lebanon along with each and every void accusation it issues, which to us is the equivalent of an attack against Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said in an hour-long televised speech.
“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days, 30 years or even 300 years,” said the Shia leader whose group dominates the current government.
“What will happen is a trial in absentia, a trial in which the verdict has already been reached.”
Nasrallah said that the STL indictment was released on Thursday in an attempt to “obstruct parliament in granting its vote of confidence to the newly-formed Lebanese cabinet.” However, he ruled out the possibility of a civil outbreak as a result of the STL indictment.
The Hezbollah chief accused some Lebanese parties, “especially some Christian ones,” of wanting to spark a sectarian conflict in the country.
“I want to tell the supporters of the Resistance to not be worried; this is part of a war we have been fighting since the establishment of the Zionist entity.”
Nasrallah also said that after STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare was appointed, 97 computers that belonged to the international commission investigating the probe were transported through the Naqoura border crossing, taken through Israel and then to The Hague.
“Why does Bellemare want to take these computers from Lebanon through Israel? Why didn’t they ship them out of the airport or Beirut port?”
Al-Manar broadcast a video showing a document allegedly confirming the delivery of the shipment from South Lebanon to Israel.
Nasrallah accused investigators in the office of the tribunal’s prosecutor of having close ties with Washington’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), adding that STL President Judge Antonio Cassese is “a good friend of Israel.”
“One of Bellemare’s assistants is a Central Intelligence Agency operative. All of Bellemare’s officers are not neutral and are not seeking the truth,” he said.
A second video displayed names and profiles of STL investigators, including Najib Nick Keldas, Michael Taylor, Darell Mandeze, Doureid Bcherawi and Robert Bear – who were accused by Nasrallah of having close ties with the CIA.
A third footage showed a man describing Cassese as “a close of friend of Israel” at the 2010 Herzliya Conference (Israel’s annual primary global policy gathering).
Nasrallah also accused Commissioner Gerhard Lehmann who was the deputy of Former Commissioner of the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Detlev Mehlis – of “selling investigation-related information to the Israelis” and of “being corrupt.”
The STL on Thursday handed Lebanon’s prosecutor general Said Mirza arrest warrants for four members of the Iranian-and Syrian-backed group in connection to the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others in Beirut.
The whereabouts of the four remain unknown.