Assad Describes STL as 'Politicized, Considers it a Tool to 'Pressure Hizbullah'


Syrian President Bashar Assad described the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as “politicized,” saying that it's only a tool to pressure Hizbullah.

"Nine years have passed since the beginning of this trial. Has justice been served? Every accusation was made for political reasons," he said on Sunday in an exclusive interview with Agence France Presse, days after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon began hearing evidence in the 2005 killing of Rafik Hariri.

"We have not seen any tangible proof put forward against the parties involved in the case," added Assad, whose regime came under suspicion in the killing, along with Hizbullah.

"The real question should be: why the timing? Why now? This court was set up nine years ago," he added.

"I believe that the whole thing is politicized and is intended to put pressure Hizbullah in Lebanon in the same way that it aimed at putting pressure on Syria in the beginning, immediately after Hariri's assassination," he said.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has accused five Hizbullah members of involvement in the 2005 assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri.

The party has dismissed the court as a U.S.-Israeli scheme and vowed to never cooperate with it.

The STL opened last week in a suburb outside The Hague nine years after the huge Beirut blast that killed Hariri.

The STL is unique in international justice as it was set up to try the perpetrators of a terrorist attack and because it can try the suspects in absentia.

The February 14, 2005 seafront blast killed 22 people as well as Damascus opponent Hariri and wounded 226, leading to the establishment by the U.N. Security Council of the STL in 2007.

Prosecutors will aim to prove the accused men's involvement through tracking their alleged use of mobile phones before, during and after the attack.

Suspects belong to Syria- and Iran-backed Hizbullah

Although the attack was initially blamed on pro-Syrian Lebanese generals, the court in 2011 issued arrest warrants against Mustafa Badreddine, 52, Salim Ayyash, 50, Hussein Oneissi, 39, and Assad Sabra, 37, all members of the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Shiite movement Hizbullah.

A fifth suspect, Hassan Habib Merhi, 48, was indicted last year and his case may yet be joined to the current trial.

Comments 23
Thumb popeye almost 6 years

pressure HA to do what? What a criminal he really is.

Thumb ice-man almost 6 years

Please, refrain from insulting your fellow posters.

Thumb popeye almost 6 years

Can you teach a stone-aged creature manners? Obviously not.

Thumb Mystic almost 6 years

Indeed Mr. Assad the CIA couldn't stop you from archieving victory over their plot. So now they are using their last remaining resources on STL fake tribunals.

Thumb cedars2 almost 6 years

The CIA created Assad, not this Assad. Nice avatar do you use that to scare naughty HA youngsters with?

Thumb Mystic almost 6 years

To Pressure the Hezbollah, who wasen't even responsible to begin with.

Default-user-icon imadito (Guest) almost 6 years

your avatar, mughniye, was also killed in damascus at a time where the regime was omnipotent and omniscient in Syria. What did Assad get to allow the israelis to kill mughniye???

Missing art2strong almost 6 years

Be nice and leave your barber's address & phone.

Thumb Mystic almost 6 years

Not really speakfreely, because the STL will never get the accused that they want, because we all know that this is a false claim aimed to destabilize Lebanon and create strife. They can accuse and talk and give sentences whatever they want, but they will be giving that to empty seats.

Thumb ice-man almost 6 years

Samy, are you referring to Mystic or the_roar?

Missing ya_kord almost 6 years

H.A and Syria said that it an Israeli plot to begin with.. however the whole security council agreed on the STL including Russia and China .second call the STL what u want but the fact is that if H.A are found guilty the secuirty council will have no choice to list H.A as a terrorist group. at least Russia and China recognize the legitimacy of the U.N (in which they are major players) and its institutions.

Missing ya_kord almost 6 years

so let me clarify if foung guilty, securtit council labels them as a terrorist group. all countries will be forced to cut ties and seize all their foreign assests that the U.S hasn't be able to reach. second it will be illegal for Iran to arm them which will make it much for difficult to fund and arm them, and if caught arming them they could face sanctions and we know Iran is now working on removing sanctions. bottom light STL could potentially devastate H.A financially and their supplies

Thumb ice-man almost 6 years

I agree with your assessment on all 4 counts.

Thumb ice-man almost 6 years

I am assuming you are including mowaten also. Hence, the 4 counts. Please, confirm...

Default-user-icon him (Guest) almost 6 years

the defense knows full well how guilty it is thats why it doesnt cross examine anything: they are just to afraid to get involved.

Unfortunately we dont expect anything more from Lebanese citizens who support Assad even after the Michel Samaha indictment WITH VIDEO PROOF.

Thumb Marc almost 6 years

The fact that they are not showing up, it is an indication that they are guilty as charged. I would have more respect for them if they come out and admit to the crime and give their reasons why they did it. But chicken will always be chicken, hiding behind others and claiming imaginary victory!

Thumb ice-man almost 6 years

Samy, are you referring to Mystic or the_roar?

Thumb Machia almost 6 years

Hezbollah does not need Assad to come to its defence. Actually it is the other way round!
Moreover, the so-called Hezbollah supporters accused of carrying out the crime have very good and credible lawyers defending them at the court.
No one accused Hezbollah of carrying out the crime. Even Saad Hariri today accused the Syrian regime of ordering the bombing.
We ask Assad not to interfere in our affairs and keep his opinions to himself and concentrate on ending the violence in his country.

Missing helicopter almost 6 years

Assad Describes STL as 'Politicized, Considers it a Tool to 'Pressure Hizbullah' ....................
Behold my fellow humans, the ICON of Peace and Justice has just declared the STL unfit and politicized. Let the trial proceed.

Missing art2strong almost 6 years

2 very wishable things : Mystic's Barber's address & Phone & southern's primary school's (Dahieh?). Latter's got an exquisite English and former an irresistible mug.

Thumb general_puppet almost 6 years

The little butcher Assad comes to the defense of his partners in crime Nasrallah and the Iranian terrorist militia…. how nice.

Default-user-icon Hammerhead (Guest) almost 6 years

It seems that our friend the roar has pre-conceived opinions regarding the STL. The trial has just began and he has already judged the court to be a farce before it even started. Give the STL a chance to prove themselves, in time you will know the reason behind their decision not to allow the defence to cross examine them. You must understand that you are dealing with a butcher that loves to cut off people's limbs, kill people in their beds and set red lines, and the second accused has a fetish for fire crackers, he loves to blow things up.

Missing helicopter almost 6 years

How about the defendants being there so he/she may also be cross examined by the prosecution? Combining what you suggested with my suggestion, then we can have a better framework for justice.