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Nasrallah calls for arresting Siddiq

In an interview with Kuwaiti television Al-Rai on Thursday night, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his party is inclined to request that the Lebanese cabinet and judiciary arrest Mohammad Zouheir al-Siddiq for acting as a false witness.  

Siddiq blamed Syrian and Lebanese leaders for Hariri’s assassination, but added that Hezbollah was also involved. He has been accused of misleading a UN probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri.

Nasrallah said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) had begun preparations to hear some of the Hezbollah members' testimonies on the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.
 
The STL has not yet resolved the issue of trust with Hezbollah, however, there is still time, Nasrallah added.

Nasrallah commented on the Egyptian court's conviction of 26 men for plotting attacks in the Suez Canal and Sinai resorts on behalf of his party, saying he hails the conviction as a "badge of honor.”

"It is a source of pride to us for all Arab and Islamic people to know that we are detained and jailed for standing by our brothers in Palestine and Gaza," Nasrallah said, according to a transcript of the interview released by his office.

A Cairo court on Wednesday handed down jail sentences against 26 defendants it convicted of working for a Hezbollah cell and plotting attacks against ships in the Suez Canal and on tourist sites, among other charges.

They said they had tried to help the Islamist Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, during Israel's devastating December 2008-January 2009 offensive against the Palestinian territory.

Nasrallah admitted after the arrests were publicized that he sent a senior commander, Mohammed Youssef Mansour, alias Sami Chehab, to Egypt to support Palestinian militants in Gaza.

But judge Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa rejected the defense case, sending the 22 defendants who were in the dock to jail.

Four of the defendants remain at large, including the alleged Lebanese head of the cell, Mohammad Qabalan. Life sentences were handed down against three of them.

The controversial trial has reignited a war of words between Egypt, Hezbollah and its Iranian backers.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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