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Lebanese Prepare for UN Indictment Naming Hizbullah Commander

A leading Beirut newspaper is reporting that the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will present a sealed indictment to the state prosecutor next week and that a Hizbullah commander will be among those named. What is not known is what steps – if any — the government will take once the indictment is in play. The cabinet-designate is in the process of formulating its official policy statement but has not dealt with the issue of the STL. Hizbullah, which brought down the previous government on the issue of refusing to cooperate with the international judicial effort, is the power broker behind the new government and has threatened violence if and when any of its members are indicted. The Daily Star reported that in response to its query the state prosecutor demurred, claiming he did not know what would happen next. Procedure is that the Lebanese judicial authorities are expected to act on the indictment, arresting those named. But the judicial source quoted by the Daily Star was unequivocal in predicting that authorities “will not be able to act if the indictment includes individuals from Hizbullah.” The Lebanese are expected to renege on a cooperation agreement signed in 2007 by the government and the United Nations UNIFIL peacekeepers to assist in enforcement of issues related to the STL.