UN Tribunal's Hariri Verdict Does Not Concern Us, Hezbollah Lawmaker Says

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Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah talks in Beirut, Lebanon, November 9, 2017.
Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah talks in Beirut, Lebanon, November 9, 2017.Credit: AZIZ TAHER/ REUTERS

Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is not concerned with and will not "evaluate" the verdict of a UN-backed tribunal that convicted a member of the group of the 2005 killing of former premier Rafik al-Hariri, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said on Wednesday.

Fadlallah, in the first comments by a Hezbollah official after Tuesday's verdict, told Al Mayadeen TV that the group has never recognised the court and this stance has only strengthened.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the bombing that killed 21 others. In its ruling, the tribunal said that although the person convicted of carrying out the attack was a member of Hezbollah, they had found no evidence that the leadership of the group had played a part in his plan.

The movement has been under intense scrutiny, as has all of Lebanon's political class, since the Beirut port blast that killed more than 160 and wreaked destruction on the Lebanese capital. The event led to the resignation of the government and further protests in the country, which has been engulfed by a political crisis for years.

The results of the investigation into the causes of the blast are not as yet known, but fingers were pointed at Hezbollah for perhaps owning large quantities of ammonium nitrate dangerously stored at the port. The highly explosive chemical was responsible for feeding the explosion. Hezbollah denied any involvement.

Hezbollah has been known to stockpile ammunition and weaponry in civilian and residential areas, in an effort to protect them from Israeli attacks. 

The group, a major political force in Lebanon, has also suffered from the country's deepening economic and financial crisis, and the unrest that has followed. 

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