Hezbollah to block financing for Hariri tribunal


Hezbollah will use its position in government to try to block Lebanon’s funding for the U.N. court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the group’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Hezbollah’s leader has said the tribunal looking into Hariri’s death could indict some of the Iranian-backed group’s members, fueling the country’s worst political crisis in years. Hezbollah contends the tribunal has been poisoned by witnesses who have given false information.

The indictments could be issued as early as next month.

“You know our position on the tribunal, so we cannot agree to finance it,” Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi told  on Wednesday when asked if his party will try to block the funding in Lebanon’s budget.

Lebanon pays 49 percent of the tribunal’s costs, with other U.N. member states providing the remainder.

Hezbollah has a key role in the country’s fragile national unity government, which is led by the slain leader’s son — Prime Minister Saad Hariri — who heads a Western-backed coalition. The Cabinet has delayed discussions on the 2011 draft budget as lawmakers debate funding for the tribunal.

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