Naharnet

Hizbullah: Bellemare's Silence on Many Issues Shows Extent of STL's Credibility Corrosion

Hizbullah has hit back at Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, noting that “he did not tackle any of the presented evidence, as he was not able to refute any of the solid facts demonstrated by Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.”

In a statement it issued Tuesday afternoon, the party put forward a “quick summary of Bellemare’s failures in clarifying the tribunal’s stance” on the issue of the so-called “false witnesses” and the file of witness Mohammed Zuheir Siddiq.

Hizbullah accused Bellemare of “personally” working on settling Siddiq’s alleged case with the INTERPOL.

It noted that Bellemare “had rejected to probe the possibility of Israel’s involvement in the assassination crime” and “disregarded the issue of the imprisonment of the Four Generals.”

The fact that Bellemare “has not denied the issue of the computers transferred to occupied Palestine (Israel) raises serious questions,” Hizbullah added.

The party accused the U.N. prosecutor of “overlooking the issue of the (Israeli) spies who had fled, and who were present at the crime’s scene, such as Ghassan al-Jidd.”

Bellemare also “failed to respond to the issue of CIA agent Robert Baer and his roles in the investigation and in the tribunal” as well as the issue of “other investigators affiliated with intelligence agencies that show open hostility to the Resistance.”

“Bellemare’s silence concerning these issues demonstrates how much the tribunal’s credibility has corroded,” Hizbullah said in its statement.

Bellemare on Monday defended the “professionalism, impartiality and expertise” of the staff of his office, saying he had “full confidence in their strong commitment to finding the truth.”

“The Prosecutor welcomes Mr. Nasrallah’s offer to provide the file that he stated he has on some elements of the investigation and requests the video material that was shown on television during his televised statement, as well as any other information and documents that would assist the Tribunal in its ongoing pursuit of justice,” Bellemare added.

He stressed that “the investigation is carried out according to the highest standards of international justice and its results are based solely on facts and credible evidence.”

Nasrallah on Saturday ruled out the arrest of four members of his party indicted by the STL for the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

In his first reaction to the charges by the STL, Nasrallah also rejected "each and every void accusation" made by the Netherlands-based court, which he said was heading for a trial in absentia.

Nasrallah accused top investigators at the tribunal, including the first U.N. chief investigator, Detlev Mehlis, and his deputy, Gerhard Lehmann, of corruption.

In elaborately edited segments, Al-Manar television aired footage which Nasrallah said showed former Lehmann receiving a wad of cash in exchange for documents in the Hariri case.

Al-Manar also aired a document which Nasrallah said proved investigators had transferred IT equipment across Lebanon's southern border into Israel when it moved its staff to the Netherlands in 2009.

"Do you expect this tribunal to be fair with resistance fighters who fought against Israel?" he said. "This tribunal, since the beginning, was formed for a clear political target."


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