Hezbollah members summoned in Hariri's investigation: party chief

10:53, April 01, 2010      

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International investigators working for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon have summoned 12 Hezbollah members and close supporters for questioning in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the party's chief announced Wednesday.

In a live broadcasted interview with Hezbollah-sponsored al- Manar TV channel, the party's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that in the past few weeks, the Attorney General office contacted several people who have close ties with Hezbollah and requested they appear before judicial authorities.

He added that their number reached 12 comprising Hezbollah members and non-members, saying that the Attorney General is to summon six more people.

Nasrallah explained that the basic summoning took place at the end of 2008. And in 2009, others were summoned as well. This is not the first time that such thing happens. However, no uproar was made about it before, said he.

But Nasrallah stressed that "a meeting was held between Hezbollah delegates and officials at the Attorney General's office, and they confirmed that those people were summoned as witnesses, not as suspects."

"We have nothing to fear and we will cooperate. We have no problem with the investigation committee sitting with our men," said Nasrallah, "Hezbollah's command will watch the track of the investigation and other things to decide whether we will continue to cooperate or not."

The UN special tribunal established on March 1, 2009 has been trying suspects that planned, facilitated and executed the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed along with 22 others in a suicide bombing in Beirut on February 14, 2005.

A Saudi and west-backed politician, Hariri was suspectedly killed by Syria and its alliance in Lebanon Hezbollah, but they have denied constantly.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported in May 2009 that the UN commission probing the murder of Hariri had new evidence that Hezbollah "planned and executed" the Beirut suicide bombing.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese faction which keeps heavy weapons after the country's civil war ended in 1990, under the pretext of resisting Israel. The powerful group which has two sets in the government, has vowed to keep its arms as long as Israel poses a threat in the region.

Source: Xinhua


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