Hariri court president appeals for acceptance

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands — The president of a UN-backed tribunal set up to prosecute the assassins of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has made an impassioned plea for the country to give the court a chance to show it can dispense impartial justice.
Italian Judge Antonio Cassese says the Special Tribunal for Lebanon also has told a group of Lebanese journalists visiting the court that he hopes prosecutors will issue an indictment by the end of December.
Cassese's comments Wednesday come against a backdrop of increasing anger and suspicion in Lebanon about the tribunal's work and mounting fears that indictments could re-ignite hostilities between rival Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
In 2008, sectarian clashes killed 81 people and nearly plunged Lebanon into another civil war.
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