File - A pre-trial conference for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)
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After resigning, Hariri had been quietly bucking against Syria's political influence in Lebanon.Prosecutors at the U.N.-backed STL have charged five Hezbollah members for Hariri's assassination while concertedly insinuating that the Syrian regime saw Hariri as a major threat to its authority in Lebanon.The Syrian influence was acutely felt in the political realm, a topic that Ghazaleh and Hariri broached over lunch.In turn, Ghazaleh sought to assure Hariri that he remained well-regarded in Syria despite any political differences with the regime.An investigation into the Hariri assassination published in 2005 includes another taped conversation between Ghazaleh and an unnamed Lebanese politician, in which the Syrian intelligence officer expresses clear disdain for Hariri.In court Wednesday, Youssef stressed that the vision he and Hariri shared for Lebanon was fundamentally at odds with the logic of Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.
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