Lebanon's U.N.-backed Hariri tribunal extended

A Lebanese woman carries a poster of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik al-Harir. (File photo: Reuters)

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has added a three-year extension to the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecuting suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The tribunal, which was inaugurated in 2009, will continue its work until March 2018, said a UN statement on Friday.

Hariri and 22 others, including the assailant, were killed in a suicide truck bomb and was dubbed as one of the Middle East’s most dramatic political assassinations. Hariri was a billionaire Sunni businessman and Lebanon’s most prominent politician after the country’s 15-year civil war.

In 2011, Four Hezbollah members were charged with plotting the attack but have not been arrested. The trial in absentia, which is ongoing, began in January 2014.

A fifth suspect, also an alleged Hezbollah member, has been indicted over the crime. Hezbollah denies any involvement in the murders.

Ban expressed U.N. support for the work of the tribunal based in The Hague. Meanwhile, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, who announced Friday the mandate extension until March 1, 2018, reaffirmed Ban's commitment to support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

[With AFP and AP]

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Last Update: 06:44 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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