Lebanon News

STL defense challenges Hezbollah involvement in Hariri killing

An exterior view of the building that will house the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in Leidschendam, Netherlands, Tuesday Feb. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/ Bas Czerwinski)

BEIRUT: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Defense filed its pre-trial brief this week challenging the prosecution’s account of the 2005 car bomb that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the involvement of members of Hezbollah, the international court said Friday.

In a statement, the STL said the defense counsel filed the briefs disputing “the prosecution's account of the attack and the alleged involvement of the four accused.”

Four members of Hezbollah were indicted by the U.N.-backed court in 2011 over Hariri’s assassination.

After authorities in Lebanon failed to arrest the four men, the STL proceeded with trials in absentia.

The trial is set to begin on March 25.

“Defense counsel for Assad Hassan Sabra, for example, criticized the prosecution for what they describe as a failure to disclose documents that will be used in trial,” the STL’s statement said.

The Defense, according to the STL, also noted that Lebanon has not provided a substantial amount of information crucial to their work which renders the counsel as “effectively unable to conduct meaningful investigations."

The Pre-Trial Brief filed by defense counsel for Mustafa Badreddine is public while defense lawyers for Salim Ayyash and Hussein Oneissi have filed their briefs confidentially.

The Prosecution filed its Pre-Trial Brief, the list of witnesses it intends to call at trial, and the list of exhibits it intends to offer into evidence on Nov. 15 of last year.





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