This is how Emile Lahoud, possibly a suspect in the Hariri murder, decided to “negotiate” the mandate of the Hariri tribunal.
Lahoud said in a statement that according to the constitution, the duty of negotiating the court's mandate with the United Nations falls to him. He also took issue with a draft document that left out the word "international" from the title of the yet-to-be-formed court.
"Taking account of Article 52 of the constitution, which says that the head of state negotiates international treaties and ratifies them with the prime minister and support of the cabinet, (the president) expresses his reservations about the plan," it said.
Lahoud "particularly warns about adopting the name 'Lebanon Special Tribunal', which could have an impact on the image of Lebanese around the world and damage the tribunal's 'international character'," it said.
"This could lead one to believe that Lebanon is being judged for crimes such as collective massacre or ethnic cleansing... as in crimes against humanity in countries where special tribunals have been created such as the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone."
I will spare you the rest of Lahoud’s comments. According to Future Television, the Lebanese justice ministry was appalled by Lahoud’s breach of confidentiality. Attached to the memo he sent out to the press today were pages marked Top Secret. The draft text has not been discussed by the UN Security Council, or the Lebanese cabinet for that matter. Lahoud had no right disclosing the contents of the text.
Jumblatt is in DC complaining about Lahoud and seeking “US backing for the tribunal.”
Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt sought US backing for an international court to try suspects in the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
Jumblatt said he discussed the proposed tribunal with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during an unannounced meeting here. The Druze leader notably complained of opposition to the court from Lebanon's pro-Syrian president Emil Lahoud.
"If someone opposes this international court, that means that he is covering up the crime," Jumblatt, a leading anti-Syrian figure in Lebanon's parliament, told reporters after meeting Rice at the US State Department.
"If Lahoud and Syria's allies in Lebanon don't want the international court, this issue will become dangerous," he added.
Meanwhile, As-Safir reported in its Tuesday edition that Russia is trying to introduce amendments to the draft text to exclude heads of states (Read Bashar Assad, Emile Lahoud) from the trial...