Tribunal continues trial of Hezbollah’s Badreddine
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon launched proceedings against recently killed Hezbollah commander Badreddine in January 2014
A UN-backed tribunal to try the killers of Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri said Wednesday it would continue its trial in absentia of Hezbollah military chief Mustafa Badreddine, said to have been killed in May.
Judges at The Hague-based court said they had not yet seen “sufficient evidence” to confirm the death of Badreddine, whose funeral in Beirut drew thousands of mourners.
The trial “will continue pending the receipt of further information from the government of Lebanon,” they said in a statement.
Hezbollah said Badreddine, who was on a US terror sanctions blacklist and wanted by Israel, was killed in an explosion on May 12 near Damascus international airport, in circumstances that are still shrouded in mystery.
The Shiite militant group has deployed thousands of fighters in Syria where Badreddine had led its intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which are also backed by Russia and Iran.
Hezbollah has accused Islamist extremists of killing Badreddine, but it has given little information about his death.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon launched proceedings against Badreddine and four other Hezbollah suspects in January 2014. They have never appeared in court.
Badredinne stands accused of masterminding the 2005 bombing that killed Lebanon’s ex-premier Hariri, which sparked mass protests.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was set up in 2007, and is the only international ad-hoc tribunal with the jurisdiction to try an act of terror.
It is specifically trying suspects charged with the murder of Hariri, who was killed along with more than 20 others in a massive suicide car bombing on the Beirut waterfront.