Lebanon prepares for Hariri court indictment
Lebanon's political and media spheres await the release of long-awaited indictments by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is probing the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Sunni former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Xinhua reported.
As-Safir newspaper, which is close to the March 8 alliance led by Shi'ite armed group Hezbollah, said in its front page story that Lebanon was affected by a flow of leaks about release of the indictments in Hariri's assassination.
The UN-backed court is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah in the massive assassination that claimed the lives of Hariri and 22 other people, arousing fears of Sunni-Shi'ite strife in the small eastern Mediterranean country. Hezbollah rejected the accusation and slammed the court as being politicized.
A spokesperson for the Netherlands-based tribunal told Lebanon' s English-language newspaper The Daily Star that the indictment was being worked upon and would be issued independent from events in Lebanon.
Lebanon's newly announced government, which is headed by telecom tycoon Najib Mikati and dominated by the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, is still debating how to deal with the controversial STL clause in its policy statement.
In a telephone call with the Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, which is owned by Hariri's son former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Lebanon's State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza denied receiving anything related to the STL indictments, stressing that in line with the agreement with the STL, Lebanon is the first to receive a copy of the verdict.
Mirza had met Monday with Secretary General of the Lebanese Premiership Suheil Bouji, to inform him of the procedures the government should take once the STL indictments are released.
Saudi dailies Ash-Sharq al-Awsat and Al-Hayat published reports on Monday, suggesting that the STL indictments are due in the next couple of days.
Citing well-informed sources, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat said that the indictment would name five Hezbollah members, confirming earlier report that the divisive court was planning to point the finger at members of Hezbollah.