File- Late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, left, and Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah attend a ceremony in Beirut, May 25, 2001. AFP PHOTO/Joseph Barrak
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A new court document has shed fresh light on a mysterious network of telephones used by a team of assassins who allegedly killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and their efforts to implicate the city of Tripoli in the crime.Late last week, prosecutors at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon asked the trial chamber to admit the testimony of eight witnesses whose IDs were used to fraudulently buy SIM cards used by the assassination squad to carry out the Hariri assassination plan on Feb. 14, 2005 – the so-called "red network" of telephones. Red network phones were operated from Jan 4, 2005, and all of them ceased working two minutes before the assassination.Some defense lawyers have raised the possibility that the attack was in fact carried out by fundamentalists, pointing to the confessions of a cell of 13 individuals who were arrested by the Lebanese authorities after the attack and who admitted to complicity in the Hariri assassination but later recanted their testimony.Prosecutors are seeking to admit the testimony on the red network telephones as they launch into the second phase of the trial, which will look at the political context of Hariri's killing and the breakdown of relations with Syria and President Bashar Assad in the run-up to the attack, as well as the raft of telecommunications evidence that allegedly implicates the suspects in the surveillance and killing of the charismatic Prime Minister.
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