Former Lebanon PM Hariri: Hezbollah Indictments a 'Historic Moment'

Saad Hariri lauds UN-backed tribunal for issuing indictments against Hezbollah officials for the 2005 murder of his father, Rafik Hariri.

Former Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, lauded the indictments handed to Hezbollah officials by the UN-backed tribunal probing Hariri's 2005 assassination, calling it a "historic moment."

The handover of the indictments to Lebanese prosecutor general Saeed Mirza was made during a meeting with three judges from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which has given Lebanon 30 days to respond.

hariri - AP - January 14 2011

Saad Hariri issued a statement shortly after the indictment was handed to Mirza warning the new Hezbollah-led cabinet that it must abide by Lebanon's commitments toward the international tribunal.

"The cabinet should implement Lebanon's commitments toward the international tribunal and has no excuse in escaping its responsibilities," Hariri, who is currently living in Paris, said.

Hariri also said that "after many years of patience, of struggle... today, we witness a historic moment in Lebanese politics, justice and security.

"We are not seeking revenge, rather we put our faith in God," he added.

Shortly after the news came out that the indictments were released, many Lebanese security forces were deployed in Beirut and carried out patrols in a precautionary move to guard against any violence.

On hearing reports of the indictments, Hariri supporters fired shots into the air in the mainly Sunni Muslim neighborhood of Tarek Jadideh.

"We are happy the truth is finally coming out," one neighborhood resident who asked not to be named, told DPA by phone.

"Since Hariri was martyred we have been asking for the truth behind the assassination and I think we are now starting to see the first list of names," he added.

The tribunal has long been a point of contention between Lebanon's rival political parties.

On January 12, Hezbollah and its allies toppled the Western-backed government of Saad Hariri over his refusal to stop the tribunal in probing his father's murder.