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Trial of men indicted in the assassination of former prime minister of Lebanon starts

January 13, 2014 - THE NETHERLANDS

The date, 13 Jan 2014 has been set tentatively by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon at The Hague for the start of the trial of five Hezbollah-linked men indicted in the assassination in Beirut of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Hariri is widely credited with getting Lebanon back on its feet after a long civil war. He died when a suicide bomber drove a van packed with explosives into his convoy on the Beirut waterfront on 14 Feb 2005. Twenty-one others were killed in the attack.

None of the five suspects have been arrested, and are expected to be tried in absentia. Hezbollah denies ties to the assassination and has refused to hand the suspects over. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah dismisses the indictments as a failed attempt to sow strife and says the tribunal is a tool of United States and Israeli policy.

Hariri's assassination plunged Lebanon into a series of political crises, killings and bombings that led to sectarian clashes in 2008. The turmoil continues, exacerbated by spill-over from the Syrian civil war next door.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Tribunal for Lebanon sets new date for trial (Daily Star 3 Aug 2013)

Lebanon Hariri: Fifth suspect indicted for murder (BBC 10 Oct 2013)

Date written/update: 2013-11-20