Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Sunday.
An-Nahar: Those accused will not be handed over, not even after 300 years; March 14: Hezbollah is challenging the state and is Cabinet is a hostage
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah refused Saturday to cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and all its decisions, stating that the four members of his party who were indicted Wednesday would not be handed over, not in 30 days, nor even in 300 years.
Nasrallah speech, which came two after the announcement of the indictments, evoked many reactions and comes amid preparations that begin Sunday. The meeting Sunday by the March 14 coalition at Le Bristol hotel under the slogan “The tribunal is our passage to justice” will be followed Monday with a gathering of its members to prepare for the vote of confidence on the new government which is to commence Tuesday and is to last three days.
A judicial source told An-Nahar that two items in Nasrallah’s speech surprised him: The presentation of video footage of Gerhard Lehman, former deputy president of the investigative committee in the case of the assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri, receiving what Nasrallah claimed were “payments for some specific documents.”
The second item the source found as striking was the video footage in which the claim was made that 97 computers belonging to the investigative committee were sent to Israel via Naqqura and not by way of the airport or Beirut port.
Commenting on Nasrallah’s speech, Fares Soaid, General Secretariat of the March 14 movement, said: “ The keenness that was lent by the man to the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati shows for certain once more that Hezbollah want to use the Lebanese republic defensively, and at the head of it Mikati and his government, in order to defend for the party … We reject this as it is very dangerous.”
Al-Mustaqbal: Nasrallah admits the four men are member of resistance
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah admitted Saturday that the four men indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Wednesday were members of his party, adding that no government would be able to carry out the arrest warrants against them. He called on the audience of the resistance not to be afraid because ““This American-Israeli court, and all the decisions it issues, serves their objectives and therefore we reject it and we reject all that issues from it in terms of empty accusations or empty rulings and we consider it as an aggression against us and our resistance …. We will not allow it to weaken us or target our determination and honor.”
Nasrallah also made use of the occasion to make a pre-emptive defense for Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s Cabinet, providing it justifications not to cooperate with the requests of the in court and its prosecutor, urging “not to place on it in terms of this issue what [Mikati’s], or [former Prime Minister Saad] Hariri’s Cabinet could not handle.”
The meeting at the Bristol Hotel Sunday by member of the March 14 movement is expected to be one of the coalitions biggest, with some 300 guests expected to attend. The statement to be issued following the meeting will call for political steps, most prominently “announcing democratic and parliamentary confrontation that will commence with the session dealing with the vote of confidence at Parliament.”