Lebanon's Walid Jumblatt testifies in Rafiq Hariri tribunal

Jumblatt told the court that he was convinced Syria was behind the 1977 assassination of his father. (File: Reuters)

The leader of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party and MP Walid Jumblatt testified on Monday before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) at The Hague.

Jumblatt and Hariri were close political allies and Jumblatt has had a tumultuous relationship with the Syrian leadership for years, worsened by the assassination of Hariri and the subsequent investigation into the perpetrators of the massive bombing that claimed Hariri and 21 others.

Jumblatt told the court that he was convinced Syria was behind the 1977 assassination of his father.

“It is the Syrian regime that assassinated Kamal Jumblatt,” the Progressive Socialist Party chief told the court, adding that he has judicial evidence that supports this conclusion.

He said that prior to his father’s death, an investigative judge released a report detailing “the car that followed Kamal Jumblatt, how they stepped out of the car, how they killed him, how that car later left to the headquarters of the Syrian intelligence.”

The STL investigation into Hariri's murder has led to charges being laid on five members of Lebanese movement Hezbollah and increased assertions that Syria was involved in some capacity.

The timing of Jumblatt’s appearance before the special tribunal coincides with his unbridled criticism of Bashar Assad’s regime.

According to a former STL spokesman in remarks made to Lebanon’s The Daily Star, Jumblatt will likely “provide some insight that we haven’t heard before” about the contextual situation of Hariri’s 2005 assassination.

Adding to the importance of Jumblatt’s STL appearance will be the fact that he is no longer aligned with Hariri’s Future movement now led by Saad Hariri, he has moved closer to Hezbollah over the past few years, a testament to his mercurial nature as a politician.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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