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The killers of President-elect Bachir Gemayel were sentenced to death in absentia Friday, 35 years after a bomb targeting Gemayel exploded in Beirut's Ashrafieh area.Gemayel thanked the judicial council and said the decision allowed the state to regain its authority and the Lebanese peoples' belief in constitutional institutions.Members of the Kataeb Party and Lebanese Forces, including the Kataeb chief and members of Gemayel's family attended the hearing at Beirut's Justice Palace. Separately, members of the Syrian Socialist National Party protested outside the Justice Palace as well as in Tayyouneh, calling Gemayel's assassination a national duty, not a crime. Gemayel was a senior Kataeb party member and commander of the LF during the Civil War.He was elected president on Aug. 23, 1982 . But nine days before he was scheduled to be sworn into office on Sept. 23, Gemayel, other Kataeb Party members and innocent bystanders were killed when a bomb exploded at the party's headquarters in Ashrafieh.
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