File - In this Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures during an interview with the BBC, in Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo/SANA)
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While Syrian President Bashar Assad has been referenced on a near-daily basis at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon over the past few months, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime will be legally implicated in crimes the court is investigating, experts say.While the names of the five Hezbollah suspects accused of being criminally responsible for Rafik Hariri's February 2005 assassination have been uttered only a handful of times since political testimony began last November, both the prosecution and the defense have quizzed witnesses extensively about Assad's role in the political and security climate which prevailed in Lebanon in 2005 . Peter Haynes, who represents the victims of the blast that killed Hariri and 21 others, said Assad and the Syrian regime are unlikely to materialize in any meaningful way at the STL.Specifically, if adequate evidence against Assad is presented before the court, victims may be able to sue the regime for compensation.Still, evidence against the regime raised at the STL may help generate momentum to bring Assad to justice.
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