If the latest reports are correct, within the next few weeks the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will reveal the names of nine members of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah for alleged participation in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Sources close to the ICC tell us that the list of those likely to be indicted includes the names of at least two senior members of Hezbollah.
Once the list is published, the question would be how to detain those indicted and bring them to trial in The Hague?
Since Lebanon is not a signatory of the ICC treaty, it is unlikely that it will order any arrests. The accused may also decide to run to Iran as soon as they get wind of their indictment. As Iran is not an ICC member either, there would be little chance of any arrests on its soil. Over the past 30 years several pro-Iranian Lebanese militants have fled to Iran after being indicted by courts in a number of European countries.
Thus, some might wonder what is point of issuing warrants that cannot be enforced.
The answer is that arrest warrants issued by the ICC or similar international tribunals carry a political, and some might say even a moral, weight that cannot be ignored.
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