In a televised speech aired Sunday (Jan. 16), the leader of the Hezbollah party said he will not support Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s bid to remain in power and defended the bloc’s move to withdraw from the country’s Western-backed government. Lebanon is in the middle of a political crisis following the resignation of 11 Cabinet ministers allied with Hezbollah.

Hassan Nasrallah, the party’s leader, explained that the move was prompted by recent developments in a U.N.-backed special investigation into the 2005 assassination of then-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. CNNsays the tribunal conducting the probe was expected to indict several members of Hezbollah.

“We will not accept any government that will protect any false witness,” Nasrallah said, according to CNN. “We will not let anything affect our reputation and our dignity, or that anyone in this universe unjustly accuse us of killing Rafik Hariri.”

The U.S. said the party’s move is an attempt to subvert justice, The Wall Street Journal says.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.