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Geagea: Govt. Should Follow up on STL’s Functioning, Abandoning it Treason against Martyrs

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stated on Thursday that the indictment in the murder case of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri paves the way for a fair trial before the Lebanese, Arab, and international public.

He said before reporters: “The new government should follow up on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s functioning and its abandonment is treason against the martyrs and all Lebanese.”

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Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hassan Aneissy, Assad Sabra among Accused in Hariri Arrest Warrants

Media reports have stated that the indictment in the murder case of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri includes the names of four suspects: Mustafa Badreddine, who is close to Hizbullah, Salim Ayyash, Hassan Aneissy, known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra.

Born in 1963 in the southern town of Harouf, Ayysah is a Civil Defense volunteer and a member of Hizbullah.

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STL Names 4 Suspects Close to Hizbullah in Indictment in Hariri’s Murder Case

Three judges from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon handed over to General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza on Thursday a copy of the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

The indictment urges Lebanese authorities to issue arrest warrants against four Lebanese that are close to Hizbullah, media reports said.

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Charbel Says Security Situation Stable, Indictment Release will Have No Repercussions

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel assured the Lebanese that the security situation is stable and that the release of the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will not have any repercussions on the ground.

Charbel told Voice of Lebanon radio station (100.5) that the “indictment is just an indictment and it’s not a final verdict, so why all the fuss about making a security deployment as if something has happened.”

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Cabinet Convenes to Discuss Policy Statement

The cabinet held a session at Baabda palace on Thursday to discuss the policy statement that was adopted a day earlier by a 12-member committee tasked with drafting it.

The cabinet meeting was preceded by closed-door talks between President Michel Suleiman and PM Najib Miqati.

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Hizbullah Says it Succeeded in Absorbing Indictment’s Impact

Hizbullah sources said the Shiite party had succeeded in absorbing the strife-prone impact of the indictment that is expected to be issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

In remarks to pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday, the sources said: “We expect the indictment to be issued any moment but we consider ourselves that we succeeded in absorbing its strife prone impact.”

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Ban Calls Miqati, Praises his Reiteration of Commitment to International Resolutions

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon telephoned Premier Najib Miqati to congratulate him on the formation of the cabinet and stress that the world body was committed to its support for Lebanon.

During their phone conversation on Wednesday night, Ban lauded Miqati for reiterating Lebanon’s respect for international resolutions.

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Saniora from Egypt: No One Can Assert with Certainty Indictment Release Date

Head of the Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc, former premier Fouad Saniora, on Wednesday noted that “no one can assert with certainty the release date of the indictment” of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the case of former premier Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination.

Asked about reports that the release of the indictment was imminent and the possible impact on the new government, Saniora said he did not believe the reports were aimed at “challenging the current government or embarrassing it regarding the issue of the ministerial Policy Statement.”

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Berri: Intense Efforts Underway to Finalize Policy Statement to Avoid Cabinet’s Resignation

Speaker Nabih Berri stated on Wednesday that intense efforts are being exerted to speed up the drafting of the government policy statement within the next few days.

He said before MPs during his weekly meeting at parliament: “Based on the constitution, 30 days are given for the policy statement to be finalized … and therefore should the committee fail to do so within the deadline, the cabinet will be considered resigned, becoming a caretaker government.”

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March 14: We Will Firmly Confront Any Attempt to Escape International Commitments

The March 14 General Secretariat stated on Wednesday that the ongoing talks, “led by the Syria and Hizbullah,” to draft a government policy statement are aimed at breaking Lebanon’s commitment with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “The March 14 camp stresses that it will firmly confront any attempt to escape Lebanon’s international commitments.”

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