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Report: Rafiq Hariri was ‘aware’ of Hezbollah plots to kill him

MP Fouad Siniora told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that Hariri had told him about the plots

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Late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri had been aware that Hezbollah had plotted to kill him “many” times, MP Fouad Siniora told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Tuesday.

Siniora, a political ally of the late prime minister, was speaking at the U.N.-mandated investigation into the Feb. 14, 2005 truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

According to the Daily Star Lebanon, citing exerts from the trial, Hariri and Siniora were in a car alone together sometime at the end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004 when the former PM made the startling revelation.

“‘Suddenly he turned ... toward me and said, ‘You know Fouad, we have by now discovered many assassination attempts by Hezbollah targeting me.’ This was extremely sudden and astonishing for me, and that was followed by a heavy silence,” Siniora told the court.

STL prosecutors have officially charged five Hezbollah members of masterminding the blast that turned Beirut into a “man-made hell.”

The suspects are: Mustafa Badreddine, 52, Salim Ayyash, 50, Hussein Oneissi, 39, and Assad Sabra, 37. They are all members of the Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah.

The court also charged two Hezbollah leaders, Badreddine and Ayyash, of planning to assassinate Hariri three months before his killing.

Siniora said he did not press Hariri on the issue and never discussed the matter with him again, the Daily Star reported.