News / Middle East

    Lebanon Tribunal Unseals Indictment in Hariri Probe

    Visitors enter to pay their respect at the grave of Lebanon's assassinated former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, in downtown Beirut, June 30, 2011 (file photo)
    Visitors enter to pay their respect at the grave of Lebanon's assassinated former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, in downtown Beirut, June 30, 2011 (file photo)

    The U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 murder of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, has released its indictment against the four Hezbollah members who prosecutors say carried out the attack.

    The court said Wednesday it has confirmed the charges against the suspects and made the indictment public after prosecutors showed there is sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial.

    The court says the indictment had been kept secret to ensure authorities could effectively search for and arrest the accused.  The court says some portions of the document will remain confidential to protect victims and witnesses.

    Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says the decision to unseal the indictment related to his father's murder is a "critical step towards uncovering the truth and achieving justice."

    But, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah dismissed the indictment.  He said it contained "no direct evidence" against the suspects and was based "solely on telecommunications data."  The indictment is based partly on an analysis of phone records.

    Nasrallah also complained that much of the information in the indictment had been leaked to the media.

    Judge Antonio Cassese has urged the four suspects to appear before the court, saying the proceedings will be conducted fairly. Lebanon says it cannot locate the suspects.

    Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive truck bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

    Hezbollah has denied involvement in the killing.

    Lebanon formed a new Cabinet in June - five months after Hezbollah and its allies forced the country's coalition government to collapse.  The Hezbollah-led bloc holds the majority of seats in the 30-member Cabinet.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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