Head of Defense Office at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon François Roux speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, May 27, 2011. (Mohammad Azakir/The Daily Star)
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The lawyers revealed that they were in possession of "reliable" testimony that refuted the presence of the infamous explosives-laden Mitsubishi Canter van, which the prosecution says devastated Hariri's convoy on the day of the attack, pointing out that no footage or satellite imagery of the moment of the attack exists despite extensive surveillance of the area.They also condemned the presence of references to Hezbollah in the indictment and the prosecution's disclosure that the suspects are Shiites, arguing that it contravened human rights, and said that potential defense witnesses, including senior Syrian and Lebanese officials, had been systematically assassinated ahead of trial. The lawyers also said in their opening salvos in the politically charged case that no motive had been presented to support the accusations against the five members of Hezbollah accused of orchestrating the assassination and that the telecommunications evidence the prosecution relied on was insufficient to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. "These accused are not the operatives of the bombing – those people remain entirely unknown," Korkmaz said.He also criticized the prosecution for not identifying a motive for the suspects to carry out the attack. The lawyers said Lebanese authorities failed to cooperate and complained of difficulties defending clients in absentia. They also criticized the prosecution for delaying disclosing evidence and repeatedly amending the indictment.
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