2020-October-28 05:59
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2020-September-11  09:12

Ghadri Hamadi: Lebanese Taxpayers Outraged by Billion-Dollar Hariri Tribunal

TEHRAN (FNA)- Beirut-based journalist Ghadri Hamadi says many Lebanese are appalled and furious at the International Hariri Court’s indefinite and vague verdict which cost them some 1.36 billion dollars since it failed to introduce the criminals behind the terror attack after exonerating Hezbollah.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, Ghadri Hamadi said the cost of the tribunal was enormous, yet “much of the details of the assassination will probably forever remain a mystery despite the huge expenditure of taxpayers’ money”.

Ghadri Hamadi is a Beirut-based journalist, reporter and communication officer. She works for several media outlets like Annahar newspaper, The Daily Star Newspaper, and Beirut Today amongst others. Her work focuses on covering Beirut's conflicts, protests, press conferences and political turmoil.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: How do people of Lebanon find Hariri tribunal’s verdict?

A: Hariri's son Saad, who is also a former prime minister, told reporters after the verdict: "I think today everybody's expectation was much higher than what came out, but I believe the tribunal came out with a verdict that is satisfying and we accept it." But, for many Lebanese, it was not the same. They took to social media to express their outrage over the $1.36 billion that Lebanese taxpayers were forced to spend on the court, only for it to give indefinite and vague answers, which were not worth the money spent on it. On the other hand, there were some who were hoping that the court would bluntly accuse Hezbollah of Hariri’s assassination; the verdict crushed their hopes, and much of the details of the assassination will probably forever remain a mystery despite the huge expenditure of taxpayers’ money. Hezbollah was acquitted, as its relationship with the deceased Prime Minister was excellent, and that they were on the same page regarding the major events taking place in Lebanon and the region.

Q: Western mainstream media accused Hezbollah to be behind the Beirut explosion as a means of putting pressure on the court. How do you find West’s setting the stage before the tribunal?

A: The Lebanese were already dreading an anticipated security situation before the court was set to release its verdict, amidst rising sectarian tensions in the country. But the heavy explosion that shook Beirut caused in less than a week navy ships, armies, and the FBI to get together, walking down the streets of Beirut. A coincident? I think not. I do not think the average citizens would have thought that “security situation” would be this tragic. Some people claimed it was Hezbollah’s weapons that blew up at the port, some claimed that Israel had a hand in what happened, and others speculated that the West might have a hand in pressuring the Hariri court to blame the assassination and the explosion on Hezbollah to urge them to hand their weapons to the Lebanese Army, but we still do not have the answers as the investigation is still ongoing.

Q: The countries that forced the United Nations Security Council into forming Hariri tribunal based on unproven assumptions and speculations, essentially violated Lebanon’s sovereignty. Do you believe they still influence Lebanese internal affairs?

A: As long as Lebanon’s sovereignty is being violated by foreign powers, Lebanon will not be able to prosper and govern itself. Lebanon is like one big fish, and everyone wants a piece. As it was the case in the Beirut blast, many fear that the port explosion that shook the capital would soon be forgotten and that the results of the investigation will not have a clear criminal to point at, just like Hariri’s case. At the end of the day, it is only innocent citizens who pay the price.