Naharnet

Aoun: I Don't Reject STL's Authority, But False Witnesses Tried to Change Probe's Course

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun has reiterated that he does not reject the authority of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, noting that he was "one of the first people to call for the setting up of the STL."

However, Aoun said that "a bunch of false witnesses tried to change the probe's course."

In an interview with French television LCI on the sidelines of his visit to Paris, Aoun added: "Investigators have overlooked this course, which, in our opinion, would have enabled them of discovering the real criminals, and this thing had led us to question the tribunal's transparency."

As Aoun noted that it was not a problem whether he approves Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's stance that further Lebanese cooperation with the court would be tantamount to an attack on the Shiite group, the FPM leader stressed that "what brings us together with Hizbullah is more of an understanding rather than an alliance."

"This understanding has contributed to stability in Lebanon, where many factors that could lead to strife exist," Aoun added.

Asked whether Hizbullah had the right to "blackmail all Lebanese over the issue of the STL," Aoun said: "Up till now, no verdict has been issued against Hizbullah, so now it is defending itself and its innocence."

On the other hand, Aoun noted that former French president Jacques Chirac "had reduced the margin of communication between the Lebanese and the French, limiting the relation between the two countries to the personal relation between him and ex-PM (Rafik) Hariri."


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