BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:50 P.M.) – The International Tribunal for Lebanon delivered their verdicts for the Rafic Hariri assassination, which took place on February 14th, 2005, in Beirut.
The sentencing session was attended by Rafik Hariri’s son, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and the family of the former MP and Minister Basil Fuleihan, who spent time with Hariri.
The members of the court and the attendees began the session by observing a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Beirut Port explosion.
Judge David Ray, while reading the summary of the verdict, said that the court relied on communications data to investigate the perpetrators of the Hariri assassination, as the defendants used communication devices to coordinate the assassination.
Ray said, “The prosecution’s case was based on evidence of communications, and investigators looked at the records of millions of calls to discover evidence, and the phone records that were used in the vicinity of the Ministry of Parliament and the location of the assassination were examined.”
Judge Ray said that the Hariri assassination was a terrorist operation that was carried out for political purposes.
Judge Ray said, “Hezbollah and Syria benefited from the assassination of Hariri, but there is no evidence of the party leadership’s responsibility, nor direct Syrian involvement in it.”
Ray contintinued that the attack on Marwan Hamadeh could be interpreted as a warning to Hariri and Walid Jumblatt not to stir trouble with Syria, noting that the assassination coincided with the visit of Walid al-Muallem, the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Hariri’s home, in addition to a meeting at the Bristol Hotel for opponents of the Syrian presence in Lebanon.
The International Court pointed out that Lebanese security forces removed important evidence from the crime scene immediately after the bombing.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon confirmed that the First Instance Chamber concluded that a suicide bomber carried out the attack, not Abu Adass, and the explosives were loaded into the compartment of a Mitsubishi truck that was stolen from Japan and sold in Tripoli to two unidentified men.
Commenting on the session, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said, “The assassination of Prime Minister Hariri greatly affected the lives of the Lebanese people and the course of events in Lebanon, and we must accept what will be issued by the International Tribunal, even if the late justice is not fair.”