Special Tribunal for Lebanon over Hariri death kicks off in The Hague

Published January 15th, 2014 - 08:13 GMT
The tomb of assassinated Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri lies in downtown Beirut. (AFP/File)
The tomb of assassinated Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri lies in downtown Beirut. (AFP/File)

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived on Wednesday evening in The Hague to participate in the first session of the trial of the four suspects accused of carrying out the assassination of late premier Rafik Hariri.

Hariri arrived to The Hague from Paris on board a private jet and he was accompanied by deputy Speaker MP Farid Makari, MPs Marwan Hamadeh and Sami Gemayel, former minister Bassem Sabeh, ex-MP Ghattas Khoury, and Hariri's chief of staff, Nader Hariri, a statement released by the ex-PM's office said.

Hariri, Hamadeh and Gemayel will take part in the opening session of the STL.

Four suspects from Hezbollah will go on trial in absentia on Thursday, charged with the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed former PM Rafik Hariri.

The four suspects have been charged with nine counts, ranging from conspiracy to commit a terrorist act to homicide and attempted homicide.

A fifth suspect, Hassan Habib Merhi, 48, was indicted last year and his case may yet be joined to the current trial.

Hezbollah has denied responsibility for the attack, and its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the tribunal as a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy, vowing that none of the suspects will be arrested.

He has vowed never to cooperate with the tribunal, saying that the suspects, who remain at large, will never be found.

Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive car bomb in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005.

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