Report: Jumblat Requests to Delay his Testimony before STL

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat reportedly requested the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to delay his testimony before the tribunal in former Premier Rafik Hariri assassination in February 2005.

According to al-Akhabr newspaper published on Thursday, Jumblat filed a request before the STL to make him the last witness.

Observers said that the Druze leader and close ally of former PM Hariri is preparing for his testimony and aims at lessening its impact on the dialogue among the political arch-foes, in particular al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah, and to maintain stability and security in Lebanon.

Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal representatives held their fifth round of talks under Berri's sponsorship in Ain el-Tineh on Tuesday night.

They issued a terse statement underlining “their rejection of (celebratory) gunfire on all occasions, in all Lebanese regions and under any excuse.”

They also followed up preparations relating to the completion of the security plan in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Officials and journalists who were close to Hariri have been testifying in court on the former PM's deteriorating ties with Syria, the neighboring country's increasing resolve to have more influence on Lebanon's internal affairs and growing concerns by the international community regarding the foreign political pressure exerted on Lebanon.

The STL is tackling the 2005 assassination of Hariri and 22 others during a major bombing in Beirut.



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