In Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces and March 14 regard the STL as more important than stability. So does Hillary Clinton in her statement of 12/3/10.
They want the indictment to be issued so that they study it and then say if they agree to it or not. But based on what? They couldn’t decide on how to try false witnesses for six months (because obviously this will make some March 14 heads roll) so they may be incompetent on this issue as well.
On 12/3/10 the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat reported on the intensifying Saudi-Syrian efforts at a resolution while at the same time there is a widening split between US-Israel efforts on the one hand for a fast indictment and France and Saudi Arabia who was the indictment delayed.
In addition to Bellemare’s departure, some staff and STL insiders reportedly believe that President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Antonio Cassese must step down given his pro-Zionist activities and his often expressed views that, the armed resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan should be tried for “terrorism”. These views are seen as corrupting the judicial process given Cassese key role in making procedural and evidentiary rulings as the case proceeds.
According to a legal analysts based at the Academy of International Law at the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, the double standards in the STL are pervasive.
One example cited was that the ITL leaked that investigators interrogated Hezbollah members, yet when asked if Israelis were ever interviewed the Prosecutors Office is mute. In point of fact, an event said to have weighed heavily on Hezbollah’s decision to stop cooperating with the STL was the line of questioning and aggressive treatment five of its members received when Hezbollah asked them two years ago to meet with STL investigators. Reportedly, most of the questions had nothing to do with the individuals as possible suspects in the Hariri murder but rather the questioning covered security issues, sought personal information about Hezbollah leaders activities, typical work schedules, places frequented, home addresses, those in the Party who were friends with Rafiq Hariri, cars they drove, where they purchased gasoline etc.
Reportedly two were asked about what Hezbollah thought about Rafiq Hariri. They reported that Hezbollah admired the Prime Minister Rafiq. One reason is that Hariri more than once provided political counsel, sometimes cover, and insisted that the Lebanese resistance was just that, a resistance movement and hence exempted from the UNSCR 1559 and various calls for the Hezbollah ‘militia’ to be disarmed.
According to PM Rafiq Hariri’s wife, Nazek, she could always tell when Rafiq had met with Hezbollah officials, particularly Hasan Nasrallah, because he always returned from such meetings in a good mood and energized.
The men used aids de camp to arrange meetings that only Rafiq’s immediate family knew about. Knowing that Israel had total control of Lebanon’s phone system, Rafiq Hariri would sometimes ask his interlocutor, “Do you have fruits?”, meaning, was it convenient for him and Nasrallah to meet. If it was, Rafiq Hariri would come to Dahiyeh and visit, usually in the middle of the night. Hezbollah’s Secretary-General once wrote that he felt that PM Hariri understood Hezbollah and understood him personally. Both came from South Lebanon villages and from families of very modest means. Both lost cherished sons. Both knew Lebanon’s position in the region and internal political configuration were not ideal and sometimes easy prey for foreign adventures. Both were good Muslims. one Sunni the other Shia, and deeply believed in dialogue and finding common ground while eschewing petty antagonism over differences in Koranic interpretation in favor of Muslim unity and respect for Lebanon’s Christian communities. Both appeared to relish their private conversations which are said to have ranged from internal, regional, and international politics, to family, Palestine, history, religion, telling each other jokes, and just ‘hanging out.’
By all accounts they respected one another and developed an abiding friendship. Both were Patriots and despite sometimes being accused of being too cozy with this or that external politic al power centers, both viewed themselves as Lebanese, “first, last and always”.
A family member of PM Hariri remembers the Martyr Hariri saying, more than once to Nasrallah, “the day the government decides to disarm the Resistance that’s the day I quit politics.”
That there will likely not be a trial in the Hariri case assassination case is of little concern to just about everyone, except the Hariri family who seek closure and justice. Israel and the US do not need or even want a trial anymore.
Israeli Knesset member, Tzahi Hanegbi, expressed hope on 11/10/10 that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon could open a battle with Hezbollah, amid Israeli worries of losing a golden opportunity for a direct confrontation with Hezbollah. According to Hanegbi, “It’s not important that the Lebanese who carried out the assassination be prosecuted. What’s even more important is to portray Hezbollah as a terrorist party which killed a popular and beloved leader in Lebanon.
Gabi Ashkenazi said this week that Israel is closely monitoring the repercussion of the indictment to see if they might reach the border.
An indictment will serve US-Israel projects swimmingly as the public quickly tires of this charade the one narrative that will be repeated for years will be: “Shia Hezbollah was indicted for killing the Sunni Hariri so let’s go hang em!” Only frustrated international lawyers will be interested in the flaws in the case. The important “historic fact” will forever remain the Indictment. When the indictments are issued everyone can go home. Other events will likely overtake this story and it will likely fade surprisingly fast for it was never much about the murdered Prime Minister and the other 20 killed and dozens injured. It was about Hezbollah being the last bone in Israel’s throat and the necessity of seeing the Lebanese Resistance destroyed by any means possible.