Al-Rahi: No One Has Right to Request Handing over of Hariri Murder Suspects

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said Thursday that no one should request the authorities to hand over suspects in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination because they are innocent until proven guilty.

“No party has the right to request the handing over of the suspects because a suspect is innocent until proven guilty and the issue is up to the judiciary to decide,” al-Rahi said in response to a question on the request made by the March 14 opposition alliance.

But Bkirki spokesman Walid Ghayyad told Naharnet that al-Rahi “differentiated between the political and judicial accusation,” saying “the judiciary should be making the request to avoid complicating things.”

The patriarch supports “the handing over of the suspects if the court (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) makes such a request because not every suspect is guilty and we can't consider him guilty before the final verdict.”

Salim Ayyash, Hussein Oneissi, Mustafa Badreddine and Assad Sabra, who are Hizbullah members, have been indicted in Hariri's Feb. 2005 assassination in a massive suicide car bombing.

In June last year, the STL issued warrants and Interpol has also issued a "red notice" for the suspects. But Lebanese authorities have not arrested them for allegedly not being able to find them.

During the press conference he held in Rome on Thursday night, which coincided with Lebanon's Independence Day, al-Rahi said that independence is based on the sovereignty of decision-making away from the threat of arms or illegal training camps.

He stressed the importance of holding the 2013 parliamentary elections on time and not to adopt the 1960s electoral law.

Al-Rahi also said the formation of a new government should be held calmly to avoid pushing Lebanon into a vacuum that threatens the country's economy.

The March 14 opposition has been calling on the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Miqati's cabinet and the formation of a salvation government.

He reiterated that the country's bickering parties should attend the national dialogue session called for by President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace.

Al-Rahi is in Rome to be officially appointed as cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday.

Comments 41
Thumb lebfrcan 23 November 2012, 14:24

I am so disappointed by our new Patriarch in all the positions he took, and i wanted him to become Patriarch in the first place.

Thumb lebfrcan 23 November 2012, 15:54

Positive neutral your comments are negative, you have the right to your opinion of course and all the readers have the right to know you as you are when you insult people without knowing them. You can express your opinion with respect.
Thank you.

Thumb geha 23 November 2012, 20:07

you know what is funny guys? what is funny is that it is OK for the army intelligence to apprehend hashash in Batroun, beating him up for hours, and that is because he issued comments against the standstill the army caused the other day!
most probably such action by the army is acceptable, but apprehending suspects is not!
what a joke.

Default-user-icon the _Drill (Guest) 24 November 2012, 10:34

well said Geha

Missing realist 23 November 2012, 23:08

I dont think he knows what he is talking about, clearly he is making no sense and will later say he was misinterpreted. I wouldnt put much weight on this

Missing roger@10452 24 November 2012, 09:20

Ya Saydna with all due respect, there was a WARRANT issued for those 4 suspects. The least "our government" can do is to execute this warrant or else what are they good for???

No Guts No Glory !!!

Thumb benzona 23 November 2012, 14:51

Another call the politics and religion dont mix well. We just need the cardinal to tell us when Xmas is, the grand mufti when Ramadan starts, the grand rabi when Hanukkah starts and that's pretty much it. Let the democratically elected people manage policies and the judicial system ask the 4 Hezbollah to be in jail till the get judged. Will get released and compensated if proven innocent. It's called preventive.

Thumb benzona 23 November 2012, 19:25

Tapette sur roulettes

Thumb benzona 23 November 2012, 14:53

No thumb down for you, because I'm a tolerant person and preach tolerance towards my fellow unarmed Lebanese compatriots.

Missing abraham 23 November 2012, 15:13

specially the corrupt Lebanese judiciary

Thumb geha 23 November 2012, 15:17

come on guys! he will say that the journalists mis quoted him :)

Missing realist 23 November 2012, 23:05

The only comment that makes sense

Thumb lebfrcan 23 November 2012, 15:25

FT i suggest you keep your sarcastic comments to yourself and let the others give their opinions, we are not in a HA/aoun dictatorship yet.

Default-user-icon Hankash (Guest) 23 November 2012, 15:29

weirdly enough this comes after a meeting he held with a Hizballa delegation before he left to Rome...

Missing freedomforall 23 November 2012, 15:32

A very disappointing statement from Patriarch Rahi especially when everybody knows that suspects need to be interrogated by the authorities in order for the investigation to move forward, and thus their innocence or guilt has nothing to do with the fact that authorities have to questions them.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 23 November 2012, 15:33

cardinal rahi is playing the game of archbishop jumblat...poor saado he is staying by the corner.

Default-user-icon assaad (Guest) 23 November 2012, 15:40

Il ne sait pas que c'est bien le tribunal qui a demandé de lui consigner les accusés ??? Mon Dieu c'est grave.

Thumb rssalman 23 November 2012, 15:48

don't take what this religious fanatic says, he's as corrupt as most other politicians, considering he's NOT a politician

Missing peace 23 November 2012, 16:04

a suspect is innocent until proved guilty , yes but the justice has the right to order a suspect to come and testify! if truly innocent he has nothing to fear! it seems those suspects fear the tribunal, why? lol

Missing mohammad_ca 25 November 2012, 13:18

never were they proven innocent ya ghabi

Thumb jcamerican 23 November 2012, 16:11

Like how they arrested the generals and company, then released them for lack of evidence. Hope you will never be a suspect, you will be waiting in prison, until they find time to see your case. And STL is the most politicized court ever.

Default-user-icon Arturo (Guest) 23 November 2012, 16:17

Four generals were arrested for four years. What a joke this STL is!

Default-user-icon Jean Maleh (Guest) 23 November 2012, 16:26

This batrak is unusually phony, pretentious and Mr.knows it all. He and all other religious figures should stay away from politics and save us from their ignorance.

Thumb gebran_sons 23 November 2012, 16:28

The worst kind of useful idiots. Did he get a new check from Iran or Hizbollah criminals? What an ambarassement, the anti-cedar revolution!!!

Thumb farres 23 November 2012, 16:54

Have some respect for the man of the cloth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Default-user-icon LebExile (Guest) 23 November 2012, 17:09

this guy is a joke - what kind of logic is this?

Default-user-icon helpdeskman (Guest) 23 November 2012, 17:20

1.) “No party has the right to request the handing over of the suspects because a suspect is innocent until proven guilty and the issue is up to the judiciary to decide,” al-Rahi said in response to a question on the request made by the March 14 opposition alliance.
2.) "ISF arrested 83 people for committing different crimes throughout Lebanon."
Beshara Cardinal Rahi, beloved Patriarch of the Maronite rite of the Catholic Church in Lebenon and throughout the world.
To his Excellency, please "Say it ain't so." Tell us this is a misquote. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is not a "competent" legal authority?
You and/or your advisors have either been struck with madness or you have received a threat against the all christian people in Lebanon. Surely nothing else could have led to such a rash statement.

Respectfully submitted.

Thumb shab 23 November 2012, 17:39

Religious clerics of all sects, keep out of politics. Religion is posion.

Missing mohammad_ca 23 November 2012, 17:53

Well then, no one has the right to ask for any suspects to be handed over according to your logic Rahi...

Thumb benzona 23 November 2012, 19:26

Amen pour ces saintes paroles.

Thumb mdrrr 23 November 2012, 23:54

Amen Ohhhoui

Thumb beiruti 23 November 2012, 19:28

Again, Patriarch has misspoken. The taking into custody of suspects upon reasonable cause is a time honored method of criminal procedure. In fact, the very act of a custodial arrest upon probably cause has been a part of jurisprudence going back centuries. Arrest does not equal conviction, probably cause, does not mean guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And there is always the right of bail in the event that the suspect is not a flight risk.
Patriarch is many things, but a criminal prosecutor, he is not and so he should not be weighing in on such things. Especially where there are legal as well as political considerations. Patriarch is neither lawyer nor politician.

Missing mohammad_ca 25 November 2012, 13:18

you guys are sheep that don't even question the shephard....

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 23 November 2012, 20:01

il parait que c pas une belle journee pour le cardinal

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 23 November 2012, 20:58

happy achoura cardinal

Missing cedars 23 November 2012, 21:51

I suggest you stick to the religion and how to bring people together as the master taught us, You should leave the politics to others playing and exercising that role.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 23 November 2012, 23:50

mahdoum hal cardinal,ahdam min muftina kabbani.

Missing youssefhaddad 24 November 2012, 05:27

If you always say things that tend to be "misinterpreted" why don't you zip it?

Default-user-icon Hammer Head (Guest) 24 November 2012, 06:09

The involvement of HA in this murder is beyond doubt, the question is how much will it cost to bring them to trail.
Is this the real fear?
Should we allow them to roam free and continue their killing spree?
Which direction will cost more?
Had there been just the killing of Harriri, maybe we can ask these questions, but the continuous slaughter of opposing political figures and innocent bystanders leaves us only one choice.

Thumb geha 24 November 2012, 08:25


Thumb andre.jabbour 24 November 2012, 13:16

we all know that jamil sayyed is guilty... just by looking at him you know he's part of the hariri assassination.