BEIRUT: The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon Friday informed the family of slain former Lebanese Communist Party leader George Hawi of a link between his case and the killing of statesman Rafik Hariri.
The delegation met with Hawi’s wife, Suzy, and daughter, Nohra, at State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza’s office at the Justice Palace in Beirut.
Nohra said following the meeting that the three-member STL delegation informed her that Hawi’s case was now under the jurisdiction of the STL, and not with Lebanese authorities after probes established a link to Hariri’s killing.
Hawi was assassinated in a car bombing on June 21, 2005. His brother Bahij said in a statement that he expected such a link “due to much of circulated preliminary information.”
Hawi said that the STL’s step has “made us rejoice,” stressing that he would “follow up on the tribunal’s functions until criminals are punished and right is achieved.”
“We are confident of the support of all factions keen on Lebanon’s independence who consider that the assassination of Hawi is the assassination of the struggler and the politician who launched the Lebanese national resistance front against the Israeli enemy,” Hawi said.
Hawi called upon all groups interested in preserving Lebanon’s stability to work on facilitating the tribunal’s mission and on bringing the accused to justice in a bid to put an end to the series of assassinations which targeted “Lebanon’s best figures.”
The STL delegation Thursday informed two Lebanese officials, who were targets of assassination attempts, of a link between their cases and the Hariri killing, judicial sources told The Daily Star.
Former Defense Minister Elias Murr and MP Marwan Hamade were informed of the connection to the 2005 Hariri assassination by an STL delegation which met them separately at Mirza’s office.
In October 2004, Hamade was targeted by a car bomb which left him seriously wounded, while Murr was targeted on July 12, 2005.The delegation also met with journalist May Chidiac, the target of an assassination attempt on Sept. 25, 2005.
Chidiac told reporters after the meeting at the Justice Palace that the delegation had not informed her of a link between the assassination attempt against her and Hariri’s killing.
“So far, there has been no link between the assassination attempt on my life [and the Hariri assassination],” Chidiac told reporters, adding that the delegation informed her that the tribunal’s investigation into the assassination attempt on her life was ongoing. She also said she had been told that there was a third case, along with that of Murr and Hamade, that has been linked to Hariri’s assassination, but refused to give details.
Judicial sources told The Daily Star that the STL delegation informed Lebanese authorities that the cases of Murr and Hamade, in addition to Hawi, are now under the jurisdiction of the STL. – Additional reporting by Rima S. Aboulmona