Middle East

Hezbollah hands over ex-PM murder 'evidence'

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks through a video link during a press conference in Beirut. Aug 9 2010
Image caption Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah believes the documents incriminate Israel

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah says it has handed over evidence which it claims implicates Israel in the assassination of the former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

After a week-long delay, documents have been passed to a tribunal investigating the killing of Mr Hariri, following requests for the material.

Hezbollah has dismissed the tribunal as a "political enterprise".

But a Hezbollah official has now handed an envelope to the Lebanese prosecutor.

The bulky envelope was immediately passed by the Lebanese public prosecutor to the international tribunal, it was revealed on Tuesday.

It is believed to contain videotapes, recordings and documents which the Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, believes incriminates Israel in the assassination of Mr Hariri.

Mr Hariri was killed in a massive explosion in 2005.

Mr Nasrallah revealed some of this material at a news conference last week, including video footage he said was intercepted from Israeli reconnaissance planes.

That prompted the request from the tribunal for the evidence to be handed over for what it pledged would be a thorough assessment.

Mr Nasrallah said last week that he would not hand the evidence to the tribunal because he did not trust it. Hezbollah has described the tribunal as an "Israeli project".

Whether the latest documents will alter the course of the investigation remains to be seen.

Tensions have been rising sharply in Lebanon recently over expectations that the tribunal may be on the brink of issuing indictments in the Hariri assassination against a number of Hezbollah members.

It was that possibility that prompted Mr Nasrallah to come out with evidence that he insists points the finger in quite another direction.

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