'Interpol issues 'red notice' for Hariri suspects'

International notices are not warrants, but request for arrest ahead of extradition; Hezbollah members were reportedly fingered by STL.

Rafik Hariri billboards 311 R (photo credit: Ali Hashisho / Reuters)
Rafik Hariri billboards 311 R
(photo credit: Ali Hashisho / Reuters)
Interpol issued “red notices” for the four suspects named by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported on Saturday.
The notices, which are not international arrest warrants, are a request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition. The four Lebanese men who were named in an STL indictment last week are wanted for trial in the Netherlands, where the STL sits.
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The UN-backed tribunal handed indictments and arrest warrants to Lebanon just over a week ago, which officials said accused Hezbollah members of involvement in the assassination of Hariri.
The long-awaited move was hailed as a “historic moment” by Rafik Hariri’s son, Saad, but poses an immediate challenge to the new government of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose cabinet is dominated by Hezbollah allies.
Prosecutor Saeed Mirza gave no details of the indictments. Lebanese officials said four warrants were issued for Hezbollah members, including senior leader Mustafa Badreddine, who was jailed in Kuwait in 1983 over a series of bombings, and is a brother-in-law of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh.
The February 14, 2005, assassination plunged Lebanon into a series of political crises, assassinations and bombings that led to sectarian clashes in May 2008, dragging the country back to the brink of civil war.
Reuters contributed to this report.