Hariri trial could start mid-2012: tribunal

26th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN-backed tribunal probing the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 said Friday the suspects could be put on trial by mid-2012, an official said.

"The trial could begin at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in mid-2012," said the official on condition of anonymity.

He said this was an estimate only and will be used for administrative planning by the court registrar, who previously said the tribunal could be ready for trial by September or October.

A final decision on a trial date rests with the judges at the Hague-based tribunal.

The STL was created by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution, at Lebanon's request, to try those responsible for Hariri's assassination. He was killed in a suicide car bombing along with 22 other people including a bomber on February 14, 2005.

Earlier this month, the court published a full indictment, saying it had enough evidence to put four members of Lebanon's influential Hezbollah on trial.

Judge Antonio Cassese, the tribunal president, has called on Beirut to "intensify" efforts to arrest the four.

© 2011 AFP

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