A view of a sign on the exterior of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague, The Netherlands, January 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos)
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Years after the revelations regarding the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri coming from a small courtroom in a suburb of The Hague gripped the nation, the sessions have settled into a slow but regular rhythm.Re, an Australian national and former senior prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, embodies how many Lebanese view the STL -- foreign, disconnected from political developments in Lebanon and the surrounding region.Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has also condemned the legitimacy of the STL calling it a "Zionist plot".Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a longstanding opponent of Hezbollah, has admitted a pragmatic need to deal with the group as a political entity in order to preserve the stability of the country while engaging with STL to facilitate its work.Hariri's comments, however, were not a dismissal of the trial, as he regularly meets with STL representatives to be updated on developments.Stephanie Van den Berg, editor in chief of the International Justice Tribune, said that such dissonance between international tribunals and the political environment of the country in question is not unique to the STL.Still, Lebanese defense counsel Emile Aoun, representing the interests of the accused Salim Ayyash, remained hopeful.
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