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Middle East
Tribunal 'invites' Hariri evidence
UN prosecutor says tribunal will consider all evidence after Hezbollah blames Israel.
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:05 GMT
Nasrallah unveiled alleged evidence that Israel was behind the February 14, 2005 bombing [AFP]

A UN tribunal investigating the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri has called for the submission of all "relevant evidence" after Hezbollah revealed information it said implicated Israel in the killing.

"The office of the prosecutor has always invited ... anyone who has evidence relevant to the attack against former prime minister Rafiq Hariri to bring it to its attention," Fatima Issawi, a tribunal spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.

The tribunal prosecutor "has also said that any allegation that is based on credible elements ... will be carefully considered," she added.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has criticised the UN investigation for not looking into the possibility that Israel was responsible for Hariri's death. 

He called the tribunal "an Israeli project to create strife in Lebanon".

Drone 'evidence'

On Monday, Nasrallah presented evidence that he said showed his arch-foe Israel was behind the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed al-Hariri and 22 others in Beirut.

He said he would not hand the evidence over to the UN tribunal because he did not trust it.

Nasrallah produced several undated clips of aerial views of various areas in Lebanon, including the site of the Hariri assassination in mainly Sunni west Beirut several years prior to the murder.

He said the footage was intercepted from unmanned Israeli surveillance drones.

"Nasrallah has not provided undisputed, solid proof that implicates Israel," Al Jazeera's Rula Amin reporting from Beirut said.

Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah is facing increasing pressure as the UN-backed tribunal appears set to accuse several of its members.

Nasrallah has said prime minister Saad al-Hariri, the son of Rafiq, vowed he would publicly declare any Hezbollah members indicted were renegades and not disciplined party members.

Al-Hariri's stance is widely viewed as an attempt to avoid violence between his mainly Sunni Muslim supporters and supporters of the Shia Hezbollah at all costs.

'Exit for everyone'

Khalid Saghiyyah, the editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar, wrote in his newspaper that the documents that were presented by Nasrallah "simply say: Yes, it is possible to redirect the accusation towards Israel."

"This alone represents a suitable exit for everyone.

"An exit for the fabricators of false witnesses. An exit for those who are rightfully accused. An exit for those wrongly accused. An exit for the descendants of the victims," Saghiyyah added.

Tribunal president Antonio Cassese has said there is no fixed date for any indictments, which "will depend on when the prosecutor determines there is enough evidence."

The al-Hariri assassination triggered an international outcry and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April 2005 after a deployment of almost three decades.

The murder has been widely blamed on Syria but Damascus has consistently denied involvement.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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