Hezbollah ready to tackle STL indictments

Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Hezbollah will take whatever action it deems appropriate when defending itself against accusations from a U.N.-backed tribunal, an official said.

Lebanon is bracing for indictments from the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Nawwaf Moussawi, a Lebanese lawmaker with Hezbollah, said the Shiite organization would use whatever means necessary to defend its name, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reports.

"There will be no concessions when it comes to defending ourselves or facing false accusations and we have the absolute right to use what we see appropriate in that regard," he was quoted as saying.

Hezbollah and its allies in Damascus are believed to have played a role in the plot. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the slain prime minister's son, told an Arab newspaper the Syrian allegations were politically motivated. Hezbollah, for its part, alleges the tribunal is part of a broader Israeli plot.

Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's deputy chief, said Lebanon should adopt a national policy that accuses Israel of playing a role in the plot.

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