Sayyed Nasrallah: Martyr Hariri’s Case and STL Must be Reviewed

Sayyed Nasrallah: Martyr Hariri’s Case and STL Must be Reviewed
Mohamad Shmaysani Readers Number : 963

01/05/2009 Hezbollah Secretary General stressed in a televised speech on Al-Manar TV that “we should make a new review of the assassination case of former Prime Minister martyr Rafik Hariri and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.”

His eminence began his speech by congratulating all workers in Lebanon and the world on Labor Day. “I ask Almighty Allah that this occasion would see one day the beginning of equity that would solve their problems and make their just demands heard.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then moved to politics and said that what had been presented at the dialogue table in Lebanon over Israeli maneuvers needs more time to tackle than we have today. “I will discuss this matter in detail sometime later, however I will address the issues of the crisis with Egypt and the matter of the four generals.”

“A wide campaign was waged since the crisis between Hezbollah and Egypt emerged and it is still ongoing. The Egyptian regime helped in this campaign alongside others in the Arab world. At that time I commented on the matter and we did not go into a political and a media confrontation, therefore what we witness today is a unilateral media war. Their allegations are mere allegations, because if they had facts to rely on, they would not have needed insults, particularly when they said that this was a juridical matter. If this was the case, why did they need all this effort? I have read a number of opinion polls, and I know that they have not succeeded in attaining their aims. What did the Egyptian regime achieve from its campaign on Hezbollah? Nothing. Did it achieve any of its presumed objectives? Did the Egyptian regime convince the Egyptian people and Arab peoples in the image of the resistance it sought to present? They were not convincing neither to the Egyptian people nor to Arabs.”

“During the war on Gaza, our stance was very normal. I heard the Egyptian President speaking and warning of Egypt’s anger. We had hoped to see Egypt’s anger when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza were getting killed when the Strip was on its own. We did not form an organization in Egypt and we did not target Egypt. We do not interfere in Egyptian affairs. We only work to support our Palestinian brothers.
True that many leaders have called for a calm settlement of the issue and we are following this up through legal channels. Of course there exists sides that we have confidence in to handle the issue. I thank all those who bravely defended us, particularly those inside Egypt who were harmed because of their support to the resistance. I tell Egyptian officials that going on with your campaign will be to no avail. You have made us a very big favor that will reveal itself soon, and we thank you for that.”

“(UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-Moon even sent his envoy Terej Roed Larsen to Egypt to discuss the matter. I find it very weird how Ban did not use the same words that he used against Hezbollah, when Israeli was bombing Gaza with internationally banned weapons and committing genocide against Palestinians. Larsen had raised the issue of the telecommunication network in Lebanon only to destabilize the situation and push the United Nations into a confrontation with Hezbollah and the resistance in the region. The US State Department relabeled Hezbollah as a terror organization. There is a global campaign aiming at labeling Hezbollah as a mafia and a group of gangster and this is not true. These campaigns have been waged against us because we reject the zionist project, we refuse to acknowledge Israel and we do no accept US hegemony; this is our crime. I tell those behind the Egyptian and global campaigns that you are waiting your money because this will not damage our will and the July 2006 war is a good example for you.”

“I would like to congratulate the four Generals and their families on their release and return to freedom. We are talking about the most dangerous period in Lebanon’s modern history. We have to make a new review of the assassination case of martyr Rafiq Hariri and the Tribunal so as to serve this cause. After the assassination of martyr Hariri in 2005, the Lebanese reached consensus on condemning the crime, knowing the truth and launching a serious unremitting investigation to uncover the truth and punish the culprits. If we had managed to preserve this consensus, we would have done this cause a great favor. However, the Lebanese differed on the political accusation. A political party in Lebanon had rushed since the first moments after the assassination to accuse Syria and its allies and the then Lebanese authority. They Judged, convicted and punished and then asked the kind Lebanese people to vote for them in elections to punish Hariri’s killers. They founded all of their political project and relations on this accusation that could have led to civil war in Lebanon, even a regional war. This was prevented when Syrian President Bachar Assad decided to pull out Syrian forces from Lebanon. Hence, we have to consider all assumptions that point to sides that might be behind the assassination, because political accusations might lead the country to undesired consequences.”

“We had urged waiting for the outcome of the investigation and if Syria were to be found involved in the assassination we would have stood by the other political bloc. We called for a Lebanese investigation, but those who defend the judiciary today, deemed the judicial system incapable and politicized. We called for a joint Lebanese-Saudi investigation, but Saudi Arabia refused. We called for an Arab investigation, but the Arabs refused. Then they called for an international investigation. At first we had some reservations, but we later agreed out of respect to the other political bloc and the family of martyr Hariri. We waited to see what the basis on which the investigation committee would build its case on would be, it turned out to be the testimonies of Mohamad Zuheir Siddiq. He turned out to be a liar and a false witness. The first investigation commission under Detlev Mehlis ordered the detention of the four generals, and although we found this strange, we accepted it and waited for the investigation’s results. If the probing committee had done its job away from politicization and away from the countries that backed the March 14 bloc, it would have certainly ordered the release of the four officers the minute it learned that the witness was a liar, not after four years.”

“Mehlis and whoever came after him should have released the four officers. They should not have kept them in custody without investigation or charges especially when the false witnesses were exposed. However, the generals were not released because, for political calculations, it was too early and their release would have lead to major consequences. They were politically detained and there was someone covering this detention. When the officers were in detention, March 14 leaders used to say that the investigation committee had decided to detain the Generals. This needs to be scrutinized. Today, the decision by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to release the officers is a definite proof that the investigation committee had been politicized, unjust and did not conform with international standards. This is proof that the judicial course was wrong and the detention was political.”

“There are three (Daniel) Bellemars: The first is the head of the investigation committee who is an accomplice in the unjust treatment of the officers; the second Bellemar is the one who did not mind releasing the officers; the third Bellemar is the one who we still do not know who will he be, the first or the second Bellemar.
How will the international investigators act in the next stage and what paths will they choose? Will they make the same mistakes? Will they press charges against anyone new based on false testimonies, or will they scrutinize testimonies in a scientific way? Those who misled the investigation for four years can mislead it for a hundred years. Our information confirms that the door is still open for false witnesses, therefore we have the right to pose these questions. Judge Fransine’s decision has ended a dark period. We will not pre-judge the next stage, yet international officers must and can establish integrity or otherwise.”

“My sincere advice to the family of martyr Hariri and to all the Lebanese people is to make a review to the case and cooperate to uncover the truth. We must not lose time as we did before and adhere to the national consensus that developed after the assassination. We should start by holding the false witnesses and whoever is behind them accountable. If the STL reckons it is not concerned in this matter, we – as Lebanese – must demand that the Lebanese justice system punish them so as not to open another door for new false witnesses. Let us insist on a professional investigation to reach the truth. The Lebanese judiciary must not settle for the international court.

Let us put political accusations aside – this accusation that nearly set the country and the region on fire – and to consider all possibilities, including the possibility of Israel being behind the assassination. Israel is capable of committing this crime. It has the motive, and it could have killed martyr Hariri, because it wanted a civil war in Lebanon in which Hezbollah and the Resistance would be a party in, so as to avenge its defeat in 2000 and its humiliating withdrawal from the South. Israel even wanted a regional war to pave the way for US armies to enter Lebanon and Syria and killing Hariri was their gateway. Several Israeli intelligence networks were dismantled in the last few weeks. But it the Information Branch had operated this way four years ago, maybe we would have reached something in the case of martyr Hariri. For instance, Mahmoud Rafea, who admitted being a Mossad agent, also admitted receiving sacs of explosives. He hid them in certain locations in Mount Lebanon. Why wasn’t it allowed to ask – during the past four years – about these explosives and where have they disappeared? Can’t Israel deliver two tons of explosives to Lebanon to assassinate Rafiq Hariri?”
“I respect the conflicting sentiments which the Lebanese experienced last Wednesday (when the officers were released). It was a must to celebrate the release and to congratulate their families because they were severely harmed. It is not true that their release will have an effect on elections because political affiliations are determined. Those with the opposition will vote for the opposition and those with March 14 will vote for March 14 and the swing voters who could be affected by certain events are few. Let us straighten the path of the investigation and not waste another four years, because maybe then, we will reach the truth that will bring Lebanon some good.”
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