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      Beirut Opposition Comes Out Swinging Over STL

      Opposition leaders in Lebanon ready to challenge Hizbullah's claims STL conclusions are based on false testimony 'any time.'
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 12/7/2011, 1:15 AM

      Future Movement Secretary-general Ahmad Hariri said Tuesday the March 14 coalition will challenge Hizbullah on the divisive issue of “false witnesses” in the case of the 2005 assassination of late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

      “The Future Movement and March 14 forces are ready to go with the so-called false witnesses’ file to the very end,” Ahmad Hariri said in remarks published Tuesday by the Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa.

      Hariri also accused the Hizbullah-allied March 8 alliance of continuing to “weave fabrications against March 14 that are not true.”

      “We are ready to face all accusations made by Hizbullah and its allies about false witnesses or fraud investigation anywhere at any time,” he stressed.

      Earlier this year the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicted four Hizbullah terrorists for assassinating Hariri.

      The Hague-backed STL was subsequently accused by Hamas of basing its indictment on the testimony of three Syrians the terror-group says mislead investigators. Hizbullah has also refused to hand over the accused saying the STL is a "Zionist plot" designed to "undermine the resistance."

      Hizbullah and its March 8 allies also sought for months to block funding to the STL by the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, causing several cabinet crises since the Hizbullah-dominated government was formed in July.

      Last week Mikati solved the impasse by opting to meet Lebanon's funding commitments to the STL through his own office's budget.

      Responding to a question as to why Hizbullah and its ally the Free Patriotic Movement were seeking to revive the “false witnesses” issue, Hariri accused Hizbullah of trying to “shift its status from being accused to the one that issues accusations.”

      Asked by Al-Anbaa about 'leaks' that Hizbullah had plans to assassinate Syrian opposition leaders, Hariri said: “Hizbullah is an expert in assassinations, particularly since four of its leaders are accused of assassinating martyr Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri."

      The Future Movement and its opposition allies - led by by slain prime minister Rafiq Hariri's son former prime minister Saad Hariri – have demanded Hizbullah's militias be disbanded and disarmed on the grounds the terror organization uses them to undermine the will of the Lebanese people in the name of 'resistance.'

      They have also accused Hizbullah of seeking to legitimize assassination and terror as a means to achieving political power.