The Rafik Hariri memorial in downtown Beirut was erected to honor the slain leader following his assassination in February 2005.
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On the eve of the start of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's court sessions, most Lebanese politicians expressed hope Wednesday, saying the trial would bring justice to Lebanon and punish those behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.In reference to widespread distrust of the trial, President Michel Sleiman stressed the need for the Lebanese public to respect the court, which Lebanon has committed itself to supporting. The March 14 General-Secretariat said that while Hariri's killing was not the first political assassination in Lebanon, it was the first in Lebanon and the Arab world to be put in "the hand of a strong, transparent and capable justice".However, Hezbollah MP Kamel Rifai struck a markedly different chord, accusing the tribunal of lacking credibility and saying that it was formed in order to punish his party rather than to get to the bottom of the assassination.Concerning the repercussions of the court sessions on Lebanon, Rifai suggested that if the March 14 bloc was looking to incite more strife in the country, then they would use the trial to do so.
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