File - A pre-trial conference for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)
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A top defense lawyer at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon spoke out Sunday against prosecutors for radically changing the scope of trial as they began to examine the breakdown of relations between Syrian President Bashar Assad and former premier Rafik Hariri ahead of the latter's assassination.Hassan's comments came as defense lawyers grow increasingly frustrated at the radical change in the trial's scope to include Syria's alleged role in what is the worst political crime in recent Lebanese history – a surprise reversal in a case that has long ignored Syria.They are also frustrated at what appears to be the prosecution's dithering in the case – it is now pointing to Syria for a political motive for the killing without presenting an indictment formally laying out Syria's role. Hassan said that the prosecution would have to bring forth individuals to testify about the exact ties between the Syrian regime and the suspects who allegedly carried out the assassination.
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