Hariri allies slam call to boycott UN tribunal

BEIRUT — Hezbollah’s political rivals denounced on Friday the militant party’s call to boycott a UN-backed probe on the murder of ex-Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, calling on their government to take a stand.

By (AFP)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 29 Oct 2010, 5:42 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:29 AM

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah urged Lebanese on Thursday to end cooperation with a probe into Hariri’s 2005 murder, warning that further collaboration was equivalent to an attack on his Iranian-backed Shia movement.

That upped the stakes in a deepening standoff with Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier, who has vowed to see the investigation through.

Ahmed Fatfat, an MP with Hariri’s Saudi-backed bloc, said Nasrallah’s comments amounted to a call to “revolt against the international community.”

“Accepting this request pits the Lebanese government against the international community,” Fatfat told local radio.

“If the Lebanese government abides by what Nasrallah is calling for, Lebanon will ... eventually turn into a country that rejects international resolutions,” he added.

“The government must clarify where it stands (regarding Nasrallah’s statement) and whether it will recant its policy statement,” he added.

The statement to which he referred stipulates the cabinet’s “respect for ... and commitment to cooperating with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.”

Christian leader Samir Geagea, whose Lebanese Forces are a key Hariri ally, called on the president and prime minister to schedule an emergency meeting on the issue.

“Cooperation with the tribunal is also at the heart of the current cabinet’s policy statement,” Geagea told Al-Arabiya television.

“This is a threat to the Lebanese government, as the government is the first to cooperate with the investigators through its memorandum of understanding with the Security Council,” he added.

“We denounce this surprising, incomprehensible position.”

Tensions have been building for weeks in the turbulent Mediterranean country amid reports that the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon would point to Hezbollah in the Hariri murder.

Nasrallah’s comments on Thursday night came a day after a group of angry women attacked two investigators at a gynaecology clinic in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburb of Beirut, taking a briefcase from them.

More news from