Hariri tribunal probing Hezbollah material

2011-08-03 22:30

The Hague - The prosecutor of the UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 death of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri is probing material providded by Hezbollah, his office said on Wednesday.

"The office of the prosecutor is currently examining material hand-delivered by Hezbollah officials to the prosecutor-general of Lebanon on July 13 2011," the Special Tribunal on Lebanon (STL) prosecutor's office said in a statement.

On July 4, prosecutor Daniel Bellemare invited Iranian-backed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to submit information and documents that could assist the tribunal "in its quest for justice."

Nasrallah, in an hour-long televised address on July 2, ruled out the arrest of four Hezbollah suspects, indicted in the investigation into the deaths of Hariri and 22 others in a powerful car bomb blast in Beirut on February 14 2005.

But Nasrallah claimed to have material including video clips which could assist in the investigation and proposed to send them to the prosecutor.

The statement said Bellemare's office asked for the file on some elements of the investigation Nasrallah offered to provide. It also asked for video material shown during his speech.

"The prosecutor continues to pursue all investigative leads," it added.

Terrorist act

On Friday, a tribunal judge confirmed the names of the four wanted Hezbollah men and the charges against them.

Pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen ordered confidentiality around the charges against Salim Ayyash, 47, Mustafa Badreddine, 50, Hussein Anaissi, 37 and Assad Sabra, 34, be dropped.

Badreddine is a brother-in-law of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008.

Ayyash and Badreddine face among others, charges of "committing a terrorist act by means of an explosive device" and homicide including Hariri's death, while Anaissi and Sabra faced charges of conspiring to commit the same acts.

Interpol has also issued wanted notices for the men.