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3 acquitted, 1 guilty of Hariri’s killing

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A United Nations-backed tribunal found a member of the Lebanese group Hezbollah guilty of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a massive bomb blast in 2005.

The verdict by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) – an international court based near The Hague, Netherlands – came more than 15 years after Hariri was killed on February 14, 2005, along with 21 others in the huge explosion in the capital, Beirut.

“We accept the verdict of the tribunal and want justice to be implemented,” said Lebanon former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, adding that he wants “just punishment” for the criminals.

Hariri said that those who assassinated his father aimed to “change the face of Lebanon and its system and its civilized identity” and said that there will be “no compromise” on this matter.

The four members of Iran-backed militia and political party Hezbollah were accused of organising and carrying out the attack, although the group was not formally charged and denied any involvement

Three other Hezbollah suspects were cleared on Tuesday.

Earlier : There is no evidence that the leadership of the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, or the Syrian government, were involved in the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, a judge said on Tuesday.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is reading the verdict in the trial of four Hezbollah members charged with conspiracy to kill Hariri and 21 others.

“The trial chamber is of the view that Syria and Hezbollah may have had motives to eliminate Mr Hariri and his political allies, however there is no evidence that the Hezbollah leadership had any involvement in Mr. Hariri’s murder and there is no direct evidence of Syrian involvement,” said Judge David Re, reading a summary of the court’s 2,600 page decision.

Reuters

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