Citizens and politicians flock to Hariri's tomb in central Beirut


Thousands of citizens from the various regions and dozens of political, diplomatic, social, intellectual and religious figures were flocking Tuesday to the tomb of slain ex-PM Rafik Hariri in central Beirut to commemorate the 18th anniversary of his assassination.

Supporters of al-Mustaqbal Movement, which the late leader founded, were seen carrying the blue flags of the movement and banners supportive of its current leader ex-PM Saad Hariri, as patriotic and partisan anthems blared from loudspeakers.

Hariri later arrived at the tomb where he recited Quranic verses and saluted supporters.

Last June, appeals judges at the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon sentenced two members of Hezbollah to life imprisonment for their alleged roles in the assassination.

Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi were tried in absentia at the court near The Hague, Netherlands, and convicted on appeal in March of five crimes, including being accomplices to the intentional homicide of Hariri and 21 others, and the wounding of 226 others.

Prosecutors appealed after the two men were acquitted in April 2020 following a lengthy trial that found another Hezbollah member, Salim Ayyash, guilty of involvement in the Feb. 14, 2005, blast. Ayyash, who also was tried in absentia, received a life prison sentence.

The trial judges said there was no evidence that Hezbollah's leadership and Syria were involved in the attack but noted the assassination happened as Hariri and his political allies were discussing calling for Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

Comments 2
Thumb gebran_sons 14 February 2023, 14:32

While Saad has good intentions, there is an ocean of difference between Saad and martyr Rafiq Hariri who was assassinated by Hizbollah and Assad, that also assassinated Lebanon. Rafiq rebuild Lebanon after the civil war with minimum debt and put it on the world map as a premiere regional hub for business, banking, education, tourism, respect and influence. Saad took a prosperous Lebanon and by bowing to Hizbollah and political mafia transformed it into a destitute beggar nation after the exodus of all good paying western firms, suffocation of freedom and democracy by the Basij, and Hizb political risk making Lebanon an Iranian rocket base that dried out local and foreign investments. Rafiq was willing to compromise and he would use Hizbollah strength if it would help Lebanon. Saad was used by Hizb along other Useful Idiots to occupy and destroy Lebanon to the glory of Iran radicals. Oh how much we need Rafiq Hariri today and hope Saad stay away.

Missing Cheesecake 14 February 2023, 23:11

Is your IQ 62 by any chance? Why would an mitweli admit that his side are willing to start a civil war if they faced rightful opposition? You sound like a phalangist terrorist who want to pretend like his terrorist heroes should not be held accountable for old crimes despite that these terrorists are still involved in politics today.