Sayyed Nasrallah: Bellemare, UN Protecting False Witnesses


10/10/2010 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah renewed on Saturday his criticism of the way the Special Tribunal of Lebanon is handling the case of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s assassination, accusing its Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare and the United Nations of insisting on protecting false witnesses who misled the investigation.

His eminence also called on Lebanese for a wide participation in the reception of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who would start next Wednesday a two-day visit to Lebanon, recalling that Iran helped Lebanon reconstruction in the aftermath of Israeli wars, while modestly avoiding public spotlight.

Sayyed Nasrallah was speaking through a giant TV screen in Al Qaem complex in Beirut’s southern suburb during a ceremony organized by the Jihad al-Binaa reconstruction department to commemorate the end of the campaign to plant one million trees in southern suburb.

Hezbollah Secretary General noted that the Iranian President’s visit to Lebanon was an official one, calling on Lebanese and Palestinians in Lebanon to participate in the reception of the great guest.

“President Ahmadinejad is Lebanese President Michel Sleiman’s guest and we have to be hospitable in welcoming him,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, recalling how Iran helped Lebanon reconstruction in the aftermath of Israeli wars, while modestly avoiding public spotlight.

His eminence expressed gratitude for Tehran’s contribution to the reconstruction of Lebanon following 1993, 1996 and 2006 Israeli offensives against the country, noting that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had declined to participate in any formalities, celebrating the launch of any Tehran-financed reconstruction projects.

“I told the Iranian president that maybe some of the projects which Iran implemented in Lebanon especially how it helped in reconstructing certain areas in southern Beirut deserve a ceremony whereby the Iranian president will inaugurate certain projects, which Iran has helped, which has contributed to. The Iranian president answered me and said any project, any inauguration, any ceremonies, which could make the Lebanese people feel that they owe the Iranians or that I want to show them that I have done something, Iran has done something for Lebanon, I do not want to do this. Meaning I do not want to make the Lebanese feel they are indebted to Iran.”

“Since the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Islamic republic has been supporting Lebanon, Palestine and the region, but the Arab governments have not even said Thank You, ” Sayyed Nasrallah said, while quoting Ahmadinejad as saying that “we are the ones who must thank the Lebanese for their perseverance and for the resistance and for the great victory, which they gave to the Muslim Ummah.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say that President Ahmadinejad “quickly reacted and responded positively” to his request for aid during the 2006 war. “Had…this money been given to the Lebanese state, its destiny would be similar to the destiny of the money, which was given by Saudi Arabia and Arab governments to the Lebanese state. We would have entered into a bureaucracy, which was endless. Regardless, of course, of the political intentions,” the Resistance leader said, adding that “even if there are good political intentions, the bureaucracy would have been endless.”

As for the controversial issue of equipping the army, Sayyed Nasrallah said that no one is forced to accept cooperation with Iran on this issue, and that there is no need to put conditions in the face of this donor state, while earlier other donor states did put conditions that Lebanon accepted. His eminence said that despite the fact that Iran presented help during the past 30 years to Lebanon without asking for anything in return, some in Lebanon keep priority to their political views.

Hezbollah Secretary General, meanwhile, addressed the political issues related to the politicized international tribunal, false witnesses and the much-awaited verdict in the case of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s case.

His eminence criticized the way the UN tribunal is handling the case and accused the tribunal of protecting false witnesses who misled the investigation.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the court must provide sufficient evidence that it is a judicial investigation body and would not be affected by fabricated testimonies in the future indictment. “It is a political investigation which is masked by a judicial covering and made into a judicial system. All of these in the past have proved that the special tribunal was used as a political tool,” his eminence stressed.

“We all want the truth, we rather want true justice, and without the truth there won’t be justice,” the Resistance leader said, while slamming the “injustice” practiced “against Syria and the Four Generals throughout four years.”

“I ask the Lebanese: Will the UN-backed probe make us reach the truth or will it make us reach deception, in addition to acquitting the murderer and criminalizing the friend and the brother?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered, addressing the Lebanese. “Why are (Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel) Bellemare and the UN insisting on protecting false witnesses, not to mention the domestic protection they used to enjoy? And why is Bellemare insisting on rejecting to hand over the false witnesses dossier to Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed?”

Hezbollah Secretary General noted that “procrastination in settling the false witnesses issue has been clear,” adding that “the next cabinet session on Tuesday must settle this issue for the sake of the national interest. And when the case gets referred to the judiciary, we must make sure the judiciary doesn’t delay it too.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said his party has all the proofs that confirm that the UN-backed probe is politicized. “We ask you to prove that it is a judicial and serious investigation, and we ask: who said that the upcoming (STL) indictment is not based on false witnesses?”

The Resistance leader noted that the international community is keeping Lebanon busy with the tribunal, Iran with sanctions, Syria with pressures, Sudan with problems as nobody knows anything about Egypt’s fate. “Amid the preoccupation of all Arab nations, the Israeli wants to impose conditions on the Palestinians,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, with reference to the faltering direct peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

Hezbollah Secretary General, meanwhile, denied claims made by some political parties portraying Hezbollah as seeking to stage a coup. His eminence described such claims as false and nothing but empty claims. “If we wanted to do so, we would’ve done that in 2005, but we don’t want that… we would’ve taken over the country on August 15, 2006 if we wanted to, so these claims are unfounded,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

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