Lebanon Crisis Feared as Indictments Near in Assassination of Former Lebanese Prime Minister

(Washington Post) Janine Zacharia - Hizbullah's leaders are pressuring the Lebanese government to end its cooperation with UN investigators from the tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, amid indications that some Hizbullah members will be accused of Hariri's killing in indictments expected as soon as next month. Many in the country now fear the indictments could trigger a new political crisis or even sectarian bloodshed. Traditional power brokers in Lebanon, including Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have flocked to Beirut in recent weeks to try to avert a crisis. Lebanese sources said Abdullah was so concerned about Hizbullah's warnings that he is working to delay the release of the indictments. On Monday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed in an elaborate two-hour broadcast from his hiding place that Israel was behind Hariri's assassination. Lebanon's prime minister, Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, 40, now faces the painful choice of whether to continue to try to find out who killed his father or to acquiesce to Hizbullah in order to maintain Lebanese stability.

2010-08-11 09:15:01

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