BEIRUT - A key Hezbollah ally warned yesterday that an international indictment of members of the Islamic militant group in the killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri could lead to new civil strife in Lebanon.
A high-ranking Hezbollah militant was among four people named in an indictment by the tribunal investigating Hariri’s 2005 assassination. The Shi’ite group denies any role in the killing and has vowed never to turn over any of its members.
The warning yesterday also came from Walid Jumblatt, a partner in the government whose support would be crucial if Lebanese authorities are to cooperate with prosecutors.
At a news conference, Jumblatt said the need to preserve peace in Lebanon trumps the need for justice in the Hariri case. He pointed to widespread fears that the case could further divide the country, which has been recovering from decades of bloodshed.
“Civil peace is more important than anything else,’’ he said.