Geagea Calls for Cabinet Action, Questions Hizbullah Leadership Role in Hariri Murder
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea criticized the March 8 forces on Saturday for discrediting the case against four Hizbullah members in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder and hinted that the suspects had acted under orders from the party leadership.
The evidence provided by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor in the indictment draws question marks on the role of Hizbullah, Syria and Iran in Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination, Geagea said at a press conference he held in Maarab.
The government should either convince Hizbullah to hand over the suspects or with regards to the tribunal it would truly become the cabinet of Hizbullah, he said.
“How would this cabinet continue to survive?” he wondered.
The government includes parties that are accused of involvement in the assassinations of Hariri and former communist party leader George Hawi and the murder attempts of ex-Minister Marwan Hamadeh and Elias Murr, Geagea said.
The Hizbullah-led March 8 forces have said that the indictment published by the international tribunal is only based on circumstantial evidence such as mobile phone records and analysis. Secretary-General Sayyed Nasrallah also said Israel bugged the mobile phones of Hizbullah members, allowing it to make false phone calls, send false text messages and track the users' movements.
However, Geagea ruled out the ability of Israel or the U.S. to manipulate telecom data as claimed by Hizbullah. Telecom uncovered 90% of Israeli spies, he said. “Had it (Israel) been able to control the telecom sector it would have protected its agents.”
The indictment is based on circumstantial evidence, documents and witness accounts, he stressed.
The indictment alleges the plot's mastermind is Mustafa Badreddine, a Hizbullah commander and the suspected bomb maker who blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans.
The other suspects are Salim Ayyash, also known as Abu Salim; Assad Sabra; and Hassan Oneissi, who changed his name to Hassan Issa.
Geagea wondered whether Badreddine could have carried out Hariri’s assassination without instructions from anyone. The indictment confirms that Badreddine didn’t act alone, he said.
“How could he have mobilized 15 to 20 people without the (Hizbullah) leadership’s awareness?” the LF leader asked.
He added that a few people couldn’t have received 2,500 kilograms of TNT without the knowledge of anyone.