Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, South Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

Middle east

Hezbollah leader calls for Hariri probe boycott

©

Video by Stephen Clarke

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-29

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has called on the Lebanese people to boycott a UN-backed probe into the murder of former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, describing the investigation as biased against his organisation.

AP - The leader of Hezbollah called Thursday on all Lebanese to boycott the U.N. tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of a former prime minister, saying all information gathered by the team was being sent to Israel.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah spoke Thursday, a day after a crowd of women attacked two U.N. 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 Hezbollah says is biased.
 
Nasrallah did not address the violence at the clinic or whether Hezbollah had asked the crowd to gather, but he confirmed that the wives and relatives of Hezbollah commanders and officials were among the clinic’s patients.
 
In a reaction late Thursday, the tribunal criticized Nasrallah’s boycott appeal and vowed to continue its investigation.
 
“Any call to boycott the tribunal is a deliberate attempt to obstruct justice,” the court said in a statement. “The Special Tribunal for Lebanon will continue to rely on full cooperation by the Lebanese government and the support of the international community in fulfilling its mandate, in accordance with its statute.”
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack, saying that “such acts of interference and intimidation are unacceptable,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
 
The U.N. chief stressed that the tribunal is an independent court, established at the Lebanese government’s request with a mandate from the U.N. Security Council, which is “an important tool to uncover the truth and end impunity,” Nesirky said.
 
He called on all parties to refrain from interfering in the court’s work, saying it is imperative that it be allowed to operate “safely and securely.” He also commended the Lebanese authorities for their swift action in opening an inquiry into the incident, Nesirky said.
 
The tribunal has not yet indicted any suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, but speculation that the court could name members of Hezbollah has raised fears of violence between the heavily armed Shiite guerrilla force and Hariri’s mainly Sunni allies.
 
The tribunal’s president and the State Department on Wednesday said the investigation will not be deterred by the attack, which happened in Beirut’s southern suburb of Ouzai, a Hezbollah stronghold.
 
“Those who carried out this attack must know that violence will not deter the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a court of law, from fulfilling its mandate,” Judge Antonio Cassese said in a statement Wednesday.
 
The Hague-based court said the visit to the clinic had been arranged in advance “in accordance with legal safeguards.”
 
Nasrallah called it scandalous. “I think we have reached a very sensitive and dangerous point that has to do with our dignity, pride and honor and which requires of us to take a different stance,” he said.
 
“Why is it necessary for the international investigation to have the medical records of our women?”
 
“Why is it of concern to them? Why is it necessary for the investigation to have the gynecology records of our women, wives, daughters and sisters?” he asked through the group’s Al-Manar TV.
 
He said all sorts of violations and infringements against Lebanese sovereignty were taking place under the cover of the international investigation.
 
“Can we allow this violation of everything in our country to continue?” “I call on every official and every citizen in Lebanon to boycott those investigators and not to cooperate with them ... because all that is being offered to them reaches the Israelis,” he said.
 
“Continuing cooperation with those encourages more violations of the country and helps with the aggression against the resistance.
 
The massive truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 other people along Beirut’s Mediterranean waterfront on Feb. 14, 2005 was one of the most dramatic political assassinations the Mideast has seen. A billionaire businessman, Hariri was Lebanon’s most prominent politician after the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.
 
Suspicion fell on neighboring Syria, since Hariri had been seeking to weaken its domination of the country. Syria has denied having any role in the murder, but the killing galvanized opposition to Damascus and led to huge street demonstrations helped end Syria’s 29-year military presence.
 
Since then, speculation has grown that Hezbollah - which is backed by Syria  - will be indicted. Nasrallah has announced that he expects members of his group to be indicted. He vows not to hand them over to be prosecuted.
 
The United States on Thursday accused Hezbollah and its allies Iran and Syria of attempting to endanger Lebanon’s stability and undermine its independence.
 
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice singled out Syria for displaying “flagrant disregard” for Lebanon’s sovereignty and political independence, citing its provision of increasingly sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah and other militias in violation of a U.N. resolution and issuance of arrest warrants for senior Lebanese officials and foreigners.
 
Hezbollah and Syria have mounted a campaign to try to undermine the tribunal by raising questions about its neutrality. Earlier this month, Syria’s judiciary issued arrest warrants against 33 Lebanese officials and foreigners for allegedly misleading the investigation, among them figures close to Saad Hariri and the first U.N. chief investigator, Detlev Mehlis.

 

Date created : 2010-10-29

  • LEBANON

    UN to probe Hezbollah over Hariri assassination, says Nasrallah

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Hezbollah chief Nasrallah threatens Israel over future conflict

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Hassan Nasrallah is re-elected head of Hezbollah

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)