Hezbollah defends "brothers" indicted by Hariri court

Hezbollah defends "brothers" indicted by Hariri court

The chief of Hezbollah on Saturday defended members of the Lebanese Shiite movement indicted by a UN court investigating the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri as "brothers with a honorable history", dpa reported.

Hassan Nasrallah also accused most of the UN investigating team of being agents for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

"This tribunal is an American and Israeli court, we reject it and everything issued by it. We consider it an act of aggression against us," Nasrallah said in a televised speech aired on the group's television network, Al Manar.

Nasrallah's speech came two days after the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) handed Lebanon's prosecutor the first batch of indictments - which included four arrest warrants for members of Hezbollah.

Hariri's assassination was widely blamed on Syria and its allies in Lebanon. It caused a national and international outcry and sparked a wave of massive protests that forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon after a 29-year deployment. Damascus has denied any involvement in the assassination.

In his speech, Nasrallah described the members of his group who were indicted as "brothers with honorable history."

"I tell our followers not to be worried, the tribunal is part of the war against us, because we are leading a confrontation against Israel..." Nasrallah said.

He also called on his followers to exercise maximum constraint during this period.

"The most dangerous goal of this tribunal is to create strife, a civil war in Lebanon, or especially a division between the Sunni and Shiite in Lebanon," Nasrallah warned.

Nasrallah also accused the former commissioner of the UN's International Independent Investigation Commission, German investigator Gerhard Lehmann, of receiving money for selling secret information regarding the UN investigation.

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