File - People check the site of explosion that targeted former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut, Monday, Feb. 14, 2005. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon takes one step closer toward closing the chapter of political violence and unaccountability with the start of the trial at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon today.The STL will hear the prosecution's case against four Hezbollah members accused of rigging a 2,500 kg truck bomb nine years ago that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others, plunging Lebanon into political turmoil and ending Syria's formal tutelage over the country.The The party has decided to largely ignore the court since its first indictment was unsealed, naming the first four suspects.Mundis said the court understood that there would be political ramifications to its work, but that as a judicial institution it cannot be swayed by political considerations and must proceed with its work.Since the tribunal opened in 2009, two prominent Lebanese figures were assassinated.The court has stressed that the start of trial in absentia does not end Lebanon's responsibility to search for and arrest the suspects.Mundis said there was not a lot the tribunal could do.Mundis also said the court's mandate, which ends in early 2015, is likely to be extended because its work will not have ended by then.
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