STL Names 4 Suspects Close to Hizbullah in Indictment in Hariri’s Murder Caseإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Three judges from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon handed over to General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza on Thursday a copy of the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.
The indictment urges Lebanese authorities to issue arrest warrants against four Lebanese that are close to Hizbullah, media reports said.
According to the reports, the suspects are Salim Ayyash, Hassan Issa, Assad Sabra and Mustafa Badreddine, who is known as Sami Issa. He is the relative of Hizbullah’s slain military commander Imad Mughniyeh.
The reports said that Ayyash is the leader of the network that planned and executed Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination.
The findings of the tribunal had been for months the subject of wide speculation in Lebanon and there was fear that accusation of Hizbullah members of involvement in Hariri’s murder could spark sectarian unrest.
The STL, the first international court with jurisdiction over the crime of terrorism, opened its doors in Leidschendam, near The Hague, on March 1, 2009.
STL President Antonio Cassese wrote in an annual report in March that he hoped the court would start at least pre-trial and some trial proceedings this year.
By March this year, the office of the prosecutor has conducted 150 missions and 430 interviews and set 750 requests for assistance to Lebanon's prosecutor Mirza.
Lebanon, according to experts, now has 30 days to serve out the arrest warrants. If the suspects are not arrested within that period, the STL will then make public the indictment and summon the suspects to appear before the court.