BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 P.M.) – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced their findings after a long investigation into the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.
According to the Tribunal’s findings, there was no direct evidence that leaders of Hezbollah or Syria had anything to do with the assassination of Rafic Hariri.
Furthermore, the Tribunal said the assassination was likely carried out for political reasons, but they were unable to find any evidence that Hezbollah’s leadership was behind the assassination.
The Tribunal described the relationship between Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Rafic Hariri as being positive.
Hariri’s son, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, went to the court’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, to attend the session, while Hariri’s eldest son, Bahaa Hariri, called on the Lebanese people to exercise restraint after the verdict was pronounced.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international court that was inaugurated on March 1, 2009, four years after the assassination of Hariri.
The task of this court is summarized in the trial of persons accused of carrying out the attack on February 14, 2005, which killed 22 people, including Hariri, and injured many others.
The court was established at the request of the Lebanese government to the United Nations. As for the agreement reached by Lebanon and the United Nations, it was not ratified, and the United Nations made its provisions enforceable through UN Security Council Resolution 1757.
The court is an independent judicial body that includes both Lebanese and international judges. It is neither a United Nations court nor part of the Lebanese judicial system, but it does try people under the Lebanese penal code. It is also the first court of its kind to deal with terrorism as a stand-alone crime.
The four defendants being tried before the Special Court for Lebanon are Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Onessi, and Assad Hassan Sabra.