British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Tuesday that London intends to donate $1.6 million to the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, describing the move as a “voluntary contribution."
"The UK is committed to supporting security, stability and justice for the people of Lebanon," Hague said in a written statement to the British parliament on the UK's contribution to the STL.
"This contribution to the STL is a signal of our steadfast support for its work to end the climate of impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon," he added.
Hague noted that British Minister of State for the Middle East Hugh Robertson is on a visit to Lebanon to “reinforce these points.”
The STL on Tuesday announced that its Trial Chamber has scheduled the start of trial in the case of the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri and his companions for January 16, 2014.
In 2011, the court accused four Hizbullah members -- Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hussein Oneissi and Assad Sabra – of being involved in the attack. A fifth Hizbullah suspect, Hassan Habib Merhi, was indicted in 2013.
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.
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