LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — The prosecutor who filed his first indictment in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri hailed the move Tuesday as a landmark in efforts to end impunity for political slayings in the strife-torn country.
Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said in a video statement that the confidential indictment at the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon was an important moment for the people of Lebanon, the international community and "for those who believe in international justice."
Bellemare made the statement the day after he announced he had handed the indictment to the court's pretrial judge Daniel Fransen for confirmation. The statement appeared aimed at cooling tensions in Lebanon, where many people fear the charges could lead to fresh violence.
Bellemare said he had made good on a promise to the people of Lebanon to do "everything that is humanly and legally possible" to bring the assassins to justice.