Lebanon contributes 49 percent of the Tribunal’s over $55 million annual budget. (The Daily Star/Roger Dohmen, HO)
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On the seventh anniversary of the start of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, experts and former counsel say they have little hope for a successful outcome that meets the expectations initially set out for the trial.Established to prosecute those responsible for the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others in 2005, the Tribunal has been operational since 2009 . Lebanon contributes 49 percent of the Tribunal's over $55 million annual budget, with the remainder coming from individual donor countries.Wajed Ramadan, a spokesperson for the Tribunal, echoed Nassar. Another issue is the Tribunal's controversial decision to charge the five defendants with "terrorism," rather than other more commonly used charges in international law. Since the start of the Tribunal, many have alleged that this has hobbled the court's ability to effectively mobilize popular support.Nevertheless, Nassar said it also helped in garnering support from the international community to fund the court.Ramadan agreed, noting that the standards for evidence at the Tribunal were high.However, since 2011 shifting international priorities has become particularly important for the Tribunal.
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