Hezbollah has accused the US-backed UN tribunal, investigating the assassination of the country’s former premier, of disregard for Israel’s role in the murder.
On Sunday, the Lebanese resistance movement’s Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech, accusing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of using faulty procedures, including issuing convictions in absentia and hiding witness identities.
“In international tribunals, we never have sentences made in absentia. Indictments are made, but they never hold a trial until the accused comes [and is] present in front of the judge,” he said.
Withholding the identity of the witnesses, Nasrallah said, means “those who are accused can never question the witness. They can never ask the witness “where did you see me? What are accusing me [of]? Based upon what?”
The former Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri was killed alongside more than 20 other people in a massive car bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut on February 14, 2005.
Nasrallah said in July, 2010 that he had been informed by the slain leader’s son and successor, Saad Hariri, that STL “will accuse some undisciplined [Hezbollah] members.” Nasrallah has rejected the allegation, warning that the plot was part of “a dangerous project that is targeting the resistance.”
During his speech, the resistance leader questioned the neutrality of the court, saying the United Nations Security Council is an instrument in the hands of Washington.
In an August speech, he presented evidence proving that Israel had masterminded Hariri’s assassination. The televised address featured a video captured by Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as recorded confessions by Israeli fifth columnists, substantiating that Tel Aviv had been behind the killing.
On Monday, leading Lebanese newspaper As-Safir also warned of the “intensive” pressure, Washington is applying under the slogan of “no discussions before indictment is issued.”
Political analysts have warned that such indictments are meant to sow discord in Lebanon.
Hezbollah would accept the indictment issued by the tribunal only if it is supported by credible evidence, Nasrallah said.
He further broached the issue of Tel Aviv’s spying on Beirut.
Nasrallah confirmed the news about Israeli-waged intelligence warfare against the country, which aims to incriminate members of the resistance movement in espionage.
He recounted how Tel Aviv would “implant” phone lines in the telephone devices used by Hezbollah members.
Aided by technical experts and the Lebanese Army Intelligence, the movement carried out “a comprehensive investigation” into the matter.
“We discovered that there are two phone lines in the telephone. One, which belongs to the individual and another, which was planted by the Israelis,” Nasrallah said.
“And in your telephones, they can plant numbers, which you have no idea about and they can make phone calls by these numbers. The Israelis can make phone calls to these numbers and hence they can make it look like you’re a spy….”
A Friday report by the leading Lebanese daily As-Safir showed that Israeli infiltrators used duplicated numbers to contact the telephone devices.
The newspaper warned that the application of the numbers, which appeared to be coming in from Austria, marked “serious chapters” of Israel’s ability to control Lebanon’s telecommunications sector.
The report, however, hailed that members of Hezbollah’s security service, the Army Intelligence bureau and a number of employees at the country’s Telecommunications Ministry had been able to cope with Tel Aviv’s techniques and advanced software.
The act of domestic defense, it added, was enabled through several tests and tryouts.
On Tuesday, Hassan Fadlallah, a parliamentarian representing the resistance said Israel had arranged for the sale of doctored phones to some Hezbollah members, enabling wiretapping of their communications and dispatch of Tel Aviv-desired texts, Lebanese portal Naharnet reported.
“After a lengthy, complex investigation … it was revealed that three resistance members were using local mobile phones which had been deliberately sold to them after being implanted with secret Israeli lines” by a Tel Aviv-hired Lebanese, said Fadlallah, who also chairs the parliament’s media and telecommunications committee.
Also on Tuesday, Lebanon’s Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahas said Beirut had found new evidence confirming the infiltration of Israeli espionage apparatuses into the telecommunications sector.
The resistance leader similarly spoke of the infiltration, adding that Tel Aviv was using wiretapping against all Lebanese people.
Lebanon has arrested more than 100 people, including members of the country’s security forces and telecommunications personnel, since April 2009 on suspicion of spying for Israel.
Beirut has also filed a complaint to the United Nations over Israel’s espionage activities within the country, expressing concerns that Israeli agents have gone as far as spying on the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and other top officials.
The letter bewailed that the spy networks “constitute an aggression on Lebanon and on its sovereignty in a clear violation of international resolutions, particularly [the United Nations Security Council] resolution 1701.”
The resolution ended Tel Aviv’s 2006 war on Lebanon that killed about 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians.
Israeli agents had been responsible for targeted killings, the letter said.
A number of the suspected Israeli operatives, captured in Lebanon, have admitted to their roles in helping Israel identify targets inside Lebanon, mostly belonging to Hezbollah.
Nasrallah further criticized some Lebanese official for remaining silent on Israeli espionage activities in Lebanon.