The National Bloc released the following statement:
The case of Archbishop Moussa al-Hajj involving his arrest at the border refers to the exaggerated role of the military judiciary in light of Hezbollah and its allies’ hegemonic rule. This asserts that the military court rulings are used as a political tool and fall within the context of settling scores.
It is worth mentioning that the cases of Amer Fakhoury, Ziad Itani and the tragic clashes of Tayouneh confirm that Hezbollah has subverted the rule of law in Lebanon by completely politicizing the Lebanese judiciary, especially the military.
Similarly, the sectarian frenzy again reached unprecedented levels following the arrest of Archbishop Moussa al-Hajj. This is a clear indication of the eroded confidence in judicial systems and security institutions across Lebanese, and the fragility of our political reality and the weakness of its components in resorting to narrow sectarian discourse to preserve the privileges of certain parties.
It is absolutely true that the judiciary cannot exist without the trust and confidence of the people. As such Hezbollah shall bear the greatest responsibility of losing confidence in the judiciary. The Lebanese still remember the blatant treats of Hezbollah’s head of Liaison and Coordination Unit Wafiq Safa against the judicial investigator Tarek Bitar, last September, forcing him to suspend the investigation into the Beirut Port explosion, which destroyed the capital and took the lives of more than 200 innocent people.
Judicial independence is a prerequisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. Therefore, today it has become imperative to restore confidence in the judiciary by immunizing it from political interference through concrete steps:
- Adopting the law on the independence of the judiciary which guarantees the administrative and financial independence of judges.
- Working to protect and support the Lebanese judiciary through partnership and cooperation programs with specialized international organizations, and to allocate sufficient funding for this purpose. Safeguarding the judiciary is a top priority especially in light of the aggravated crisis.
- Abolishing the competence of the military tribunals in trying non-military personnel to what concerns internal military issues without any competence over civilians.
- Preventing any attempt to obstruct the judiciary in central cases, specifically the Beirut Port catastrophic explosion.
- Clarifying the legal framework governing the Lebanese people living in Israel, so that their fate is no longer tied to the circumstantial calculations of any political party whatsoever.
Finally, the establishment of rule of law is an integral component of state development. Building a new legal system or reforming the existing one involves complex tasks that include the application of laws and regulations equally to all individuals...regardless of “security zones”, illegal weapons, political immunities, and religious privileges.