Lebanon News

STL: No decision yet to try Merhi with Hezbollah suspects

File - Prosecutor Norman Farrell speaks at the court in the Hague, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)

BEIRUT: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon failed Tuesday to make a decision on whether to join the case of the fifth Hezbollah suspect with the trial of four others accused of involvement in the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

On its Twitter account, the STL said the Trial Chamber held the hearing “on the joinder of the [Hassan] Merhi case with the Ayyash et al. case.”

“The [Trial Chamber] judges offered Merhi counsel to attend start of trial on 16 Jan as observers, but no decision yet on joining Merhi and Ayyash et al,” the U.N.-backed court tweeted.

Merhi was accused last year of complicity in the Feb. 14, 2005 assassination of Hariri. Four Hezbollah members were indicted in 2012 of involvement in the killing.

Earlier this month, the defense team for the four suspects argued joining the cases would require an adjournment of the trial, which is due to begin Jan. 16.

The prosecution has asked that Merhi be included in the main trial. He is accused of being one of the leaders of the assassination team, working as part of the “green network” of telephones that allegedly coordinated the Hariri attack.

Merhi is also accused of coordinating a false claim of responsibility intended to mislead investigators.





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