Hariri tribunal judges clarify legal ground rules

February 16, 2011 15:27


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LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — A UN-backed international court said Wednesday it will use a broad definition of terrorism when it prosecutes the killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The tribunal is based in the Netherlands but applies Lebanese law. However, Italian Judge Antonio Cassese said it should use a "more extensive" definition of the key crime under its jurisdiction — terrorism — than the one used in Lebanese courts.

The ruling is unlikely to affect any trial of Hariri's alleged assassins, who killed the prime minister and 22 others with a massive truck bomb on Beirut's Mediterranean seafront on Feb. 14, 2005. However, it could come into play if prosecutors go on to indict suspects in other terror attacks related to the Hariri case.

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