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Last week, while watching the start of the trial of those indicted in the February 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, I had contradictory feelings.As justice minister during the time when the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was being set up, I felt a certain relief that the process had reached its final stage. However, as a Lebanese, I regretted that my own country was unable to host the trial itself. At the same time, those indicted were not in court, showing that Lebanon was unwilling, or at best unable, to arrest and deliver them.It only proved that justice in Lebanon was nonexistent.Those who expect the trial to be a watershed were sobered by none other than former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son.To be more explicit, Hariri then declared his readiness to collaborate with Hezbollah, the party with which the accused are affiliated, in order to form the next Lebanese government. In other words, no one should expect the tribunal to effect a sea change in Lebanon, let alone regime change.Nor should anyone expect the trial to somehow shift the balance of power in the Middle East, by affecting those two countries suspected of being involved in the Hariri assassination – Syria and Iran.
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