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Hezbollah MP decries unconstitutional STL

Top Hezbollah MP Raad expressed his strong disapproval for the Hariri tribunal but hope for a peaceful Syrian-Saudi resolution, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon

Ahram Online, Thursday 9 Dec 2010
Mohammed Raad
Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad at a press conference on Wednesday in Lebanon's House of Parliament. (AP)
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In a press conference on Wednesday, Hezbollah’s top MP, Mohammad Raad, said that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was founded on an unconstitutional basis, but he expressed his hope for a successful Syrian-Saudi resolution to the political deadlock paralysing the country.

Raad's choice of timing was highly suggestive of Hezbollah's efforts not only to question the motives behind the tribunal but its legality as well.

Raad did not offer any new information but rather put all the evidence and proofs into perspective.  His words were in line with the typical Hezbollah narrative which revolves around thoroughly documented legal revelations – a far cry from the generic and largely speculative public discourse.

“The mechanism by which the international tribunal was set up has transcended the Lebanese government and its constitution,” Raad, head of Hezbollah's Loyalty to the Resistance bloc, told a news conference.

“It was rushed by the illegitimate cabinet of Fouad Siniora without being constitutionally ratified and placed within constitutional norms. The agreement was not signed by the president and it was not endorsed by Parliament as well,” he added.

Of particular note was the location of the conference and his legal presentation -- the House of Parliament. Raad was aided in his presentation by Selim Jreissati, a Lebanese judge and former member of the Lebanese Constitutional Council who explained the legal and constitutional flaws of the STL, arguing against its politicisation.

 “A politicised court that is not committed to the high standards of criminal justice, that has transgressed the Lebanese constitution, that was established by and for international interests and has disavowed its jurisdiction by trying false witnesses, that has breached the confidentiality of the investigation, suspiciously amended its procedural rules, trespassed its mandate and sought after data and adopted incomplete circumstantial evidence, is a court that we don’t expect justice from,” Raad stressed, in a stirring conclusion to his press conference.

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