Nasrallah implies Israel behind Hariri murder

Hezbollah leader says UN tribunal investigating death of former Lebanese PM should be asking questions of Israel.

    The leader of Hezbollah has implied that Israel was behind the killing of Rafik al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister who was murdered in 2005. 

    Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was speaking for the first time since the indictment on Thursday by the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon of four members of the Lebanese movement over the murder of Hariri.

    Discussing the tribunal's investigations into Hariri's murder, Nasrallah said: "We mentioned the possibility of having Israel involved in the murder and the fact that [Israeli] agents were present at the murder scene one day before the murder.

    "No one in the STL even asked the Israelis anything. This is normal, why? Because the tribunal, since its formation, had a precise goal and no one was allowed to talk to the Israelis ... Instead of investigating the Israelis, [the STL] gathered information from them."

    Speaking on Saturday in a telelvised speech, Nasrallah said that computers related to the case investigated by the STL were transported through Israel on their way out of Lebanon and asked why they had not been shipped out of a Beirut port?

    He said Hezbollah would produce a document that proving the computers were transported from South Lebanon to Israel.

    Speaking from Beirut, Jamal Wakim of the Lebanese International University told Al Jazeera that the charges over computer data were "the most important point" in the speech.

    He said: "It proves the implication of Israel in trying to divert and manipulate the international court."

    Nasrallah said the tribunal aimed to spread sectarian strife in Lebanon but that it would fail to inflame conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims

    He confirmed that the four men accused by the UN of the assassination were members of Hezbollah and said they had "an honourable history of resisting Israeli occupation".

    He said the UN charges were an attack on his movement, and authorities would not be able to arrest the four suspects.

    Nasrallah also revealed that he had received a document from the Qatari prime minister and Turkey's foreign minister, which stated that Saad Hariri, the son of Rafik who was toppled as Lebanon's prime minister earlier this year, had agreed to a set of demands, including abandoning the STL process, if he could stay on as premier.

    Nasrallah said he would reveal the document to the public at a later date if the need arose, but that the message conveyed to him was that it was approved by the Saudis, French, British and US.

    'Disrepuatable' accusations

    Earlier on Saturday, Ali Larijani, Iran's parliamentary speaker, said that the STL was "political" and "disreputable" and that its indictment against Hezbollah members is of no importance.

    "The court is so disreputable for anyone to pay attention to its results," said Larijani from Azerbaijan, where is is travelling on official duties, the Iranian parliament's website reported.

    Larijani accused the court's ruling of being influenced by the United States.

    "The Americans feel they have been slapped in the face and they are seeking to make up a story" by indicting Hezbollah members, Larijani said.

    Hezbollah, an influential member of the Lebanese government, is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


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