Lebanon's special tribunal issues new warrants for Hariri trial
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced on Tuesday issuing new arrest warrants for the five suspects accused of being involved in the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, following the Prosecution’s submission of a joint indictment.
"The STL has issued new arrest warrants for Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra following the Prosecution’s submission of a consolidated indictment,” the tribunal said in a released statement.
It explained that that the “indictment reflects the charges against all of the five accused as a result of the joinder decision of 25 February 2014.”
“The Trial Chamber has now requested that the Lebanese authorities act on these new arrest warrants,” the statement said.
“International arrest warrants will also be provided to Interpol for circulation in other countries,” it added, noting that the charges against the accused remain unchanged.
The in absentia trial of four Hezbollah members accused of murdering Hariri in February 2005 opened in The Hague in January 2014.
Ayyash, Badreddine, Oneissi and Sabra were indicted in 2011 with plotting the attack, but have not been arrested. Meanwhile, Merhi was charged in late 2013 in the case and is also still at large.
On February 26, the Trial Chamber ordered the adjournment of the trial sessions until at least early to mid-May to allow Defense counsel for Merhi adequate time to prepare for trial and to conduct their own investigations.
The February 14, 2005 seafront blast killed 22 people including Hariri and wounded 226, leading to the establishment by the U.N. Security Council of the STL in 2007.