Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has extended the mandate by another three years of the United Nations-backed independent tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
Mr. Ban extended the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, by three years from 1 March this year, according to information released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
Mr. Hariri and 22 others were killed on 14 February 2005 after a massive car bomb exploded as his motorcade passed through central Beirut.
Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra, all Lebanese nationals, have been indicted over the killing. They will be tried in absentia after the STL determined earlier this month that all reasonable attempts had been made to inform the four men of the charges they face and to bring them before the court.
Mr. Ban’s spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General reaffirms the UN’s commitment to support the efforts of the STL to uncover the truth behind the bombing so as to bring those responsible to justice and to send a message that impunity for such major crimes will not be tolerated.
The tribunal is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the Security Council.