The latest developments in Lebanon led Hezbollah’s secretary general Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to devote one of his Muharram speeches to the political spectrum of the country. Just after Lebanese premier Najib Miqati announced the funding of the tribunal outside the circle of the cabinet, Sayyed Nasrallah implied that the time had come for Miqati to look to the demands of Hezbollah and its allies.
This represents another test for Miqati, particularly as the March 14 movement is anticipated to strongly object to opening the false witness file, as many accuse march 14 of supporting false witnesses. Nevertheless experts believe that it was in the interests of Miqati to respond to this demand.
Testimonies of false witnesses in former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri’s assassination case led to the imprisonment of four Lebanese generals for around four years. They were released in 2009 after the Hariri tribunal cited a lack of sufficient evidence.
The four generals were known for their close ties to the Syrian regime which led many to describe their arrest as a political move by the tribunal. The indictment of the tribunal itself which names four Hezbollah members has increased this conviction of politicization, especially with Washington’s outright support for the tribunal.
Hezbollah’s leader sent a clear message: that the funding of the tribunal by Miqati does not change Hezbollah’s stance towards the tribunal which it regards as a western tool. And that Miqati’s agenda must now take into consideration this very same stance.