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Middle east

Hezbollah chief blasts indictments over Hariri death

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-18

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (pictured) has blasted the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon for indicting four Hezbollah members for alleged involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

AFP - Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon lacked sufficient evidence to implicate members of the Iranian-backed militant group in the 2005 murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

"What the tribunal published confirms what we have been saying for months, that the investigation is neither transparent nor scientific," said Nasrallah in a televised speech broadcast on Al-Manar hours after the Netherlands-based court unsealed its indictment.

"There is no direct evidence in the entire text... the investigation was built on coincidental telephone communications," the Shiite leader added.

"It is unacceptable that four of our honourable brothers in the resistance be accused, rather, be victims of slander and injustice."

Nasrallah also accused the court of aiming to "destroy the human and social fabric of Lebanon".

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Wednesday unsealed large parts of an indictment accusing four Lebanese citizens with close ties to Hezbollah in the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others in Beirut.

The indictment draws extensively on telecoms evidence against Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, and Assad Hassan Sabra, all of whom remain at large.

They face charges that include conspiracy aimed at committing a terrorist act and intentional homicide.

Lebanese officials have said the four are members of Hezbollah, but the indictment stopped short of openly drawing the connection.

"Based on their experience, training, and affiliation with Hezbollah, therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Badreddine and Ayyash had the capability to undertake the February 14, 2005 attack," the text said.

Nasrallah has repeatedly accused the tribunal of being a US-Israeli conspiracy against his group.

 

Date created : 2011-08-18

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