Sa'ad Hariri: Issuing of indictments a 'historic moment'

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
June 30, 2011 14:05

Lebanon's state prosecutor announces he has received indictments, 4 arrest warrants over 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri.

1 minute read.



Billboards of Rafik Hariri in Sidon

Rafik Hariri billboards 311 R. (photo credit:Ali Hashisho / Reuters)

Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri on Thursday welcomed indictments issued in his father's 2005 assassination, calling the move a "historic moment."

"The Lebanese government is invited, politically, nationally, legally and ethically, to implement its commitments towards the tribunal. There is no reason for anyone to run away from this responsibility," Hariri said in a statement.

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"It is time to put an end for the episodes of killing. The era of the murderers is over and the time for justice is close."

The comments came after Lebanese State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza announced that he had received indictments and four arrest warrants over the Beirut bombing which killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri's in Feb 14. 2005 and also killed 22 others.

The four suspects are Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh and Asad Sabra, The Daily Star reported, quoting a judicial source. Badreddine is cousin and a brother-in-law of slain Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008.

Earlier Thursday, officials from the UN-backed tribunal investigating the assassination met Lebanon's state prosecutor. Lebanese media reported that the four arrest warrants presented were for Hezbollah members.

Neither Mirza nor the delegation from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon commented immediately after the talks.

On Monday, London-based Asharq Alawsat had reported that five high ranking Hezbollah officials were expected to be indicted by the special tribunal. The report added that once the indictments are released, the identities of the accused will be kept secret for a short period in order to allow the Lebanese government to investigate and arrest them.

Also Thursday, Lebanon's interior minister was quoted as saying that the indictments are  "a big deal."

“Why the big deal? It’s just an indictment and not a final verdict. So why all this hubbub?” Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel asked during a Voice of Lebanon interview, according to The Daily Star.

Charbel said that he hoped the Special Tribunal for Lebanon decision would "satisfy" the Lebanese people.

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