STL: Trial in Hariri Assassination Set for January 16, 2014

The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has scheduled the start of trial in the case of Ayyash et al. for Thursday, January 16, 2014, announced the STL in a statement on Tuesday.

It explained: “This decision has been made after consulting the parties to the case at the Trial Chamber’s last public hearing.”

The trial will commence at 9:30 CET with opening statements by the Prosecutor, the Legal Representatives of the Victims participating in the proceedings, as well as opening statements, if any, for the Defense.

The Trial Chamber has also announced that there will be a Pre-Trial Conference starting at 10:30a.m. CET on January 9, 2014.

The STL was set up to tackle the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2011, it indicted four Hizbullah members,Mustafa Amin Badreddine, Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, and Assad Hassan Sabra, were indicted in the attack.

A fifth Hizbullah suspect, Hassan Habib Merhi, was indicted in 2013.

Earlier in December, STL spokesman Marten Youssef said that joining the cases of Ayyash et al. and Merhi is up to the international judges.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has rejected the STL, describing it as an American-Israeli product bent on destroying the party.

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

Source: Agence France Presse, Naharnet

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