The United Nations-backed tribunal set up to try those alleged responsible for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri today released the identities of the four men accused of the crime.
Daniel Fransen, a pre-trial judge with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), ordered the lifting of confidentiality on the full names, aliases, photographs, biographical information and charges against the men named in an indictment last month. Parts of the indictment remain confidential.
The four people named are Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra. All Lebanese, they are charged over the massive car bombing in central Beirut on 14 February 2005 that killed Mr. Hariri and 21 others.
Mr. Ayyash, 47, and Mr. Badreddine, 50, are each charged with homicide, attempted homicide, committing a terrorist act and conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.
Mr. Oneissi, 37, and Mr. Sabra, 34, face charges of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, and being an accomplice to homicide and to attempted homicide.
In a statement Daniel Bellemare, the STL Prosecutor, said the release of the names and biographical information “has been taken to increase the likelihood of apprehending the accused in case any of them is seen by the public.”
International arrest warrants against the four men were issued on 8 July and Lebanese authorities have to report back by 11 August on the progress made in carrying out the arrest warrants.
A spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief reiterated his strong support for the STL in its efforts to uncover the truth of what happened on 14 February 2005 and to bring those responsible for justice.
“He calls on all States to support the independent judicial process, including by cooperating with the Special Tribunal in the execution of the indictment and arrest warrants,” the spokesperson said.
“The Secretary-General also reiterates his expectation that the new Government of Lebanon will uphold all of Lebanon’s international expectations, including its obligations to support and cooperate with the Special Tribunal.”
The STL is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the Security Council. It is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.