Raad says STL Violation of Constitution, Accuses UN Investigators of Procrastination

Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad on Wednesday said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a violation of the Lebanese Constitution and accused U.N. investigators of procrastination.

He said some the concerns raised by Hizbullah to the U.N. Hariri investigation committee during a March 2010 meeting were not answered.

"We waited for a response and despite the promises, we have not seen a reply," Raad told a press conference to address the legal aspect of the STL.

He said creation of the Tribunal violated both Lebanese and international law, adding that the International Community has "encouraged an illegitimate government to achieve de facto authority."

A weakened Lebanese government under PM Fouad Saniora approved in November 2006 a U.N. plan for an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri – despite the resignation of six ministers and the objections of the President.

Raad, who held the press conference together with judicial expert Judge Salim Jraisati, said there are political motives behind the 'deliberate' Western and Arab media leaks.

"Why was Syria accused in the beginning and then the course of the investigation was changed? What is Israel's role in the investigation? Does the Court take Israel's statements?

Raad said these concerns were raised to U.N. investigators.

He believed that pursuing the false witnesses' issue will give the probe credibility, "especially since it focuses only on phone calls as evidence."

"What justice is that where a false witness enjoys immunity? And Bellemare sought not to pursue those.

"Media leaks and statements which dealt with the investigation since the assassination until now are not spontaneous. They violate the confidentiality of the investigation.

Judge Jraisati agreed with Raad that the STL was a violation of both Lebanese sovereignty and Constitution.

He explained the violations of the STL work in seven points.