A picture of Hassan Habib Merhi released by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)
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The STL indicted Merhi in July 2013, and the indictment was delivered confidentially to the Lebanese government on Aug 6 .Investigators were able to link the phone to Merhi because another mobile that was used by Merhi and his family and registered under his name on a number of official documents was repeatedly present in the same immediate area as the phone allegedly used to plot the attack.Merhi's case offers a tantalizing glimpse into the tribunal's efforts to arrest the suspects being tried before the tribunal – members of Hezbollah that the party's chief, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, pledged to protect.Court records show Hezbollah actively prevented Lebanese investigators working with the court from accessing Merhi's home in Burj al-Barajneh in the southern suburbs.Merhi is described in the indictment as a "supporter of Hezbollah," although prosecutors have never explained why his party affiliation is relevant to the case.Lebanese investigators had coordinated with Hezbollah in an attempt to interview Merhi as a suspect in June 2012, but he was not present at his home in Burj al-Barajneh.
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