The release of the indictment in the investigation in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is expected to be delayed after Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare filed an "amended indictment" on Friday for confirmation by STL Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen.
Sources monitoring the situation told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published on Saturday that this development will delay the announcement of the indictment, while international sources predicted that it may be released in May or June of this year.Full Story
The government formation process will witness intensified efforts next week aimed at addressing the demands of the concerned sides, according to informed sources.
Newspaper reports said that the dispute over the interior ministry portfolio has been settled in former minister Naji al-Boustani’s favor, who received congratulations on this matter from Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun during their meeting on Thursday.Full Story
The March 14 forces have been preoccupied with the preparations for Sunday’s rally commemorating six years of the movement’s formation.
The event will include three podiums, one for political speeches, another for figures from civil society, and a third for various singers and performers.Full Story
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday noted that “the importance of the March 13 rally lies in raising the issue of weapons without any fears.”
“The situations in Lebanon won’t improve without resolving this dilemma, that’s why that day will represent a decisive moment,” Geagea said on the eve of an expected mass rally at the Martyrs Square to commemorate the March 14 anniversary.Full Story
Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel on Friday urged the March 14 forces to “clearly declare” a stance on “the topics of truth and sovereignty, not for vengeance but rather to spare Lebanon further tragedies,” stressing that Hizbullah’s arms cannot last forever.
“We’re raising the issue of weapons because we want to preserve the existence of the Lebanese entity, and we hope all Lebanese would realize the meaning of the (March 13) rally, which will represent a broad Lebanese demand for a free, sovereign and independent country,” said Gemayel, on the eve of an expected mass rally to commemorate the March 14 anniversary.Full Story
Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare on Friday filed an "amended indictment" for confirmation by STL Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen "as a result of the gathering and analysis of further evidence," the Office of the Prosecutor announced in a press release.
"This amendment expands on the scope of the indictment filed on January 17, 2011 in connection with the attack on former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and others on February 14, 2005," the OTP noted.Full Story
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri criticized on Friday the possession of arms outside the Lebanese state, saying that it's true that those possessing weapons have the power to launch an assault, but those who are just are more powerful than all violence and arms.
He said during a speech at Qoreitem: "From now on, the possession of weapons, decision of war and peace, and defending the country should only be under the state's control."Full Story
President Michel Suleiman called on Friday all sides in Lebanon to exercise diligence and calm down the political rhetoric in order to ease the tensions and return to dialogue.
He said after holding talks with caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami: “We hope the current contacts would help eliminate the obstacles hindering the government formation.”Full Story
March 14 General Secretariat warned on Friday that some influential members of the March 8 camp are printing posters of deceased and living figures, as well as provocative slogans, for its supporters to lift them during Sunday’s rally.
It said in a statement that such slogans and posters are aimed at “inciting hatred and strife.”Full Story
Hundreds of Palestinians have demonstrated in front of the U.N. relief agency in Beirut, protesting scaled-back services for refugees.
Some of Friday's protesters tried to storm the head office of the U.N. Relief and Work Agency, or UNRWA, but were held back by security forces.Full Story