BEIRUT

Lebanon News

STL says work not aimed at pressuring any party

Marten Youssef, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) spokesman, speaks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

THE HAGUE: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon denied Monday accusations its work served as a tool to pressure any Lebanese political party after Syrian President Bashar Assad slammed the U.N.-backed court as politicized and aimed at targeting Hezbollah.

STL Spokesperson Marten Youssef, who declined to respond directly to Assad’s remarks, said the STL was “absolutely not” a tool to pressure any political party in Lebanon.

“This is not an accusation by the prosecution against a political party or government. This is against individuals,” he told The Daily Star.

Assad, in an interview with AFP, said he believed the STL was “politicized and is intended to put pressure on Hezbollah in Lebanon."

“What goes on in the tribunal speaks for itself. It's a judicial process separate from any political accusations,” Youssef said in The Hague, where the international court is located.

“It's a process where the prosecution will present their evidence, a process where the defense will present their evidence,” he said, adding that the court offered an opportunity to hear the voice of the victims of the Feb. 14, 2005, bombing in Beirut.

 

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