BEIRUT

Lebanon News

STL adjourns Hariri trial until mid-May

File - Status Conference in the Ayyash et al. case, in the Hague, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)

BEIRUT: The trial of five Hezbollah members accused of complicity in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has been adjourned until mid-May at least, according to a court document.

Judges at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ordered the delay to allow defense lawyers for the fifth suspect, Hasan Habib Merhi, to prepare after their client's case was merged with that of four other suspects indicted back in 2011.

Merhi is accused of being a leading member of the assassination team that ordered Hariri's killing and of helping orchestrate an alleged false claim of responsibility.

The order was included in a court document published on the tribunal's website discussing the reasons for joining the cases and outlining the roadmap for trial.

The delay could dent the court's momentum less than two months after it opened trial proceedings.

The trial of the first four suspects began last month in absentia at the STL's headquarters in Leidschendam, a suburb of The Hague.

 

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