Hariri trial: Two prime suspects ‘in Iran’

German magazine says other suspects in killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister could be victims of ‘preventative liquidation’

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Two of the five defendants due on trial over the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri are currently in Iran, while the other suspects are possible victims of “preventative liquidation,” German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.

“Western intelligence agencies believe that the two prime suspects are in Iran,” said Der Spiegel. The magazine did not name which agencies provided the information.

The news comes as the U.N. Security Council of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon meets in the small Dutch town of Leidschendam on the outskirts of The Hague, to try the alleged perpetrators in absentia of the 2005 attack that killed Hariri.

Detailed report

In 2009, Der Spiegel released a detailed report on the background of the Beirut car bombing nine years ago which killed 22 people along with Hariri.

The report named two commanders of Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah as suspects. Hezbollah’s head threatened the publication with legal action, although it never materialized, according to the magazine.

Two years later, the STL – established after Hariri’s assassination – released an arrest warrant for the two suspects named by Der Spiegel.

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