Hariri tribunal may try suspects in absentia

AFP , Monday 17 Oct 2011

Four Hezbollah members, suspected of involvement in the 2005 suicide bombing which killed the former Lebanese prime minister, remain at large

The tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri's must decide whether to try in absentia four Hezbollah members accused in the case, the court said Monday.

"The pre-trial judge has asked the trial chamber to determine whether the proceedings in absentia should be initiated in the case of Ayyash et al," a statement from the tribunal said.

Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Anaissi, and Assad Sabra are wanted for the 14 February 2005 suicide car bomb attack in Beirut that killed Hariri and 22 others, including the suicide bomber. All four are members of the Iran-backed Shiite militia.

The tribunal, based in The Hague, was created by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution, at Lebanon's request. The court has issued international arrests warrants for the four militants and asked Lebabon to apprehend them, but the suspects remain at-large.

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