Lebanese editor walks out of Hariri court contempt hearing

“I would like to go back to my home and my family,” Amin said.

The editor of a pro-Hezbollah newspaper walked out of a contempt hearing at the international court probing the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar daily, was taking part in the hearing meant to formally charge him with contempt and obstruction of justice in the case.

In January 2013, Al-Akhbar posted two news reports that included personal details of individuals it said were going to testify in the case.

During the proceedings conducted via video link between Beirut and The Hague Thursday, Amin accused Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri of imposing “oppressive measures” by interrupting an earlier statement he was delivering in which he claimed he had appeared before the court against his will.

“I would like to go back to my home and my family,” Amin said.

Lettieri responded by saying Amin was taking part in the session out of his own free will. “You are a free man and can do what you want,” Lettieri added.

Amin, who declined the appointment of a defense lawyer, then withdrew from the Beirut offices of the STL after stating he would maintain “complete silence.”

In an editorial on the daily’s website earlier in the day, Amin said he would use the court as a “pulpit” to accuse and prosecute it in “the name of conscience, morality, freedom of the press, national sovereignty, resistance and the spirit of the law, as well as our central issue, Palestine.”

The Hague-based court has indicted five Hezbollah members in absentia in connection with the Feb. 14, 2005 car bombing in Beirut that killed Hariri and 21 others. Hezbollah denies any role in the attack and has vowed not to cooperate with the court.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43