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STL Says it Can Try Hariri Killers

Special Tribunal for Lebanon can try four members of Hizbullah for the murder of former prime minister Hariri, say judges.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/25/2012, 3:12 AM

Burning flame at the site where Hariri was killed
Burning flame at the site where Hariri was killed
AFP/File

Judges at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Wednesday said in an appeal ruling that the court could try four members of Hizbullah for the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, AFP reported.

Lawyers for the four men argue that the UN-backed court set up to try them has no jurisdiction in the case.

The appeals chamber of the Special Tribunal, however, unanimously dismissed arguments submitted by the defense that the court was illegal, the tribunal said in a statement.

Defense lawyers launched a bid to have the court declared illegal in June, saying the UN Security Council had abused its powers when it set up the tribunal five years ago.

Last August, the STL formally published indictments naming four Hizbullah terrorists for involvement in the assassination of Hariri and 22 others.

The four, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra, are still at large. Lebanon has said it cannot locate them, while Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed never to turn them in. The terror group has dismissed the court as a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.

Billionaire politician Hariri was killed in 2005 in a massive car bombing on the Beirut seafront along with 22 other people, including the suicide bomber.