Trail delayed in 2005 Hariri killing

Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM
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LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A tribunal judge said he delayed the trail against Hezbollah suspects implicated in the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Daniel Fransen, pretrial judge at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, said he'd announce "soon" a new date for the start of the trial against four members of Hezbollah tied to the 2005 bombing in Beirut. The trail was to have begun Monday.

"He found that the prosecution has not yet disclosed the entirety of the material to the defense, and that the defense has not yet been able to access certain material disclosed by the prosecution due to technical issues," a tribunal statement read.

Suspected Hezbollah members Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Ainessi and Assad Hassan Sabra are on trial in absentia.

The defense team for Badreddine last year filed an appeal, asserting the U.N. Security Council overstepped its authority when it passed the resolution forming the court.

The tribunal is the first to use an international definition for terrorism. Badreddine's team said the Hariri assassination "did not constitute an armed conflict and it did not create any cross-border effects."

Hezbollah denies ties to the assassination and says the matter is part of an Israeli plot. Badreddine was identified as the brother-in-law of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in 2008.

Hariri was among 22 people killed in a bombing attack on Feb. 14, 2005, in Beirut.

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