Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

STL Indicts Four Suspects in Hariri Murder

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has confirmed Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare’s indictments of four suspects in the Hariri murder. While the indictment has not yet been made public, media leaks (which accurately predicted the indictment’s release) suggest that the four suspects are the following individuals:

  1. Mustafa Badreddine
  2. Salim Ayyash
  3. Hasan Aineysseh
  4. Assad Sabra
The indictment has been sealed to the public for thirty days, giving Lebanese General Prosecutor Sa’id Mirza time to arrest the suspects. I will be posting relevant reactions and news reports on this thread throughout the day. Check in regularly to read the latest, and join the conversation in the comment section.
*
What To Read on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (Qifa Nabki)
(A collection of links to background reading, STL documents, UNSC resolutions, previous commentary).
STL Indicts 4 Hezbollah Members, Seeks Arrests — Daily Star

BEIRUT: A U.N.-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri handed over Thursday the Lebanon-portion of the indictment, which accused four Hezbollah members, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

The indictment identified the suspects as Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh and Asad Sabra.

A three-man delegation from the Special tribunal for Lebanon met State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza before midday Thursday and submitted the sealed indictment and arrest warrants for the four suspects.

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the Hariri assassination and has described accusations as an “Israeli-American project.”

Speaking to a local radio station during a break from talks at Baabda Palace, Minister of State of Administrative Affairs and Hezbollah member Mohammad Fneish said: “When we see the [STL] indictment, we will comment on it.”

Badreddine is a cousin and a brother-in-law of Hezbollah’s slain commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in Syria in 2008. Badreddine eventually replaced Mughniyeh as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer.

According to the indictment, Badreddine masterminded and supervised the plot to assassinate the Lebanese statesman while, Ayyash, 48, is alleged to have headed the cell that carried out the assassination of Hariri.

Lebanon, according to experts, now has 30 days to serve out the arrest warrants. If the suspects are not arrested within that period, the STL will then make public the indictment and summon the suspects to appear before the court.

Official: Tribunal Issues Indictments in Lebanese PM Hariri’s Killing (CNN)

A U.N. source familiar with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said the people include alleged perpetrators on the ground. The next two lists of indictments are expected later this summer and are expected to include the organizers and planners of the attack, the source said.

Lebanese Politicians React to Indictment Announcement (Daily Star)

Reactions began pouring in from Lebanon’s various political factions Thursday, after a Special Tribunal for Lebanon delegation handed over an indictment over the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, reportedly accusing Hezbollah members.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea urged lawmakers to look at the suspects in the STL indictment as individuals accused of a crime, rather than affiliating them with their party, religion or country.

“We need to look at the accused as a person rather than link them with their party, sect, or country that he belongs to,” Geagea said, shortly after a Special Tribunal for Lebanon delegation delivered its indictment, said to implicate two Hezbollah members, to the country’s state prosecutor Thursday.

Hariri Investigation Timeline (by Aljazeera)

Some Reactions to the News on Twitter (please use #STL)

@BeirutCalling (Michael Young) — After 6 years of investigation, the Special Tribunal for #Lebanon indicts four Hezbollah suspects. The mountain has given birth to a mouse.

@rmslim (Randa Slim) — @DavidKenner Two of the names are senior level and the other two are Hezb members but not so senior. #STL #Lebanon

@nmoawad (Nadine Moawad) — The #STL has so far cost over $160 million USD – half of which was payed by #Lebanon (i.e. our tax money)

@abumuqawama (Andrew Exum) — Whew. A quick scan on those indicted in the #STL reveals I have never played soccer with any of them. http://bit.ly/mmENGL

More news reports and reactions to be updated throughout the day. Stay tuned. 

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “STL Indicts Four Suspects in Hariri Murder

  1. Interesting development in more ways than one, not least the timing!

    This is exactly why one has to be quite clear about what we are deliberating here; and this is a genuine question: Is the document presented constitutes an indictment or what is akin to a subpoena issued for questioning the named individuals?

    Regards

    Posted by QuestionMarks | June 30, 2011, 7:17 am
  2. A U.N.-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri handed over Thursday the Lebanon-portion of the indictment, which accused four Hezbollah members, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

    “…accused four Hezbollah members…”? I’m shocked!

    Considering Hezbollah murdered 85 innocent people in Buenos Aires and nothing was done about it, I suspect a wrist slap at most…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9983810/ns/world_news-terrorism/t/breakthrough-made-argentina-bombing/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 30, 2011, 7:18 am
  3. His hands look HUGE in that picture. Someone should tell Bellemare “did you know that if your hand is bigger than your face then you have cancer?” and then take a picture as he does it. Or punch him… which ever.

    Posted by Usama | June 30, 2011, 7:21 am
  4. Hmmm.. if this were a Mexican soap opera, and it feels like one, the next episode would probably involve a DNA test that shows Sa3d isn’t Rafiq’s biological son. dumdumdummmm

    Posted by Usama | June 30, 2011, 7:34 am
  5. And Let the games begin!

    Posted by Enlightened | June 30, 2011, 8:15 am
  6. Now that the STL indictments have been issued, I hope this entire mess can be put behind us and forgotten and The Resistance can be allowed to continue its role in defending Lebanon and liberating Palestine.

    Posted by dontgetit | June 30, 2011, 8:32 am
  7. Hale-F%$#ing-Lujjah (sorry HP).

    Usama, don’t dismay. HA still controls Lebanon, and can dedicate all the government resources to disproving those ‘false’ allegations against it.

    Posted by Gabriel | June 30, 2011, 8:42 am
  8. Look at all the haters come out. Brace yourself people, for a replica of the arguments and attitudes put forward by the Syrian regime apologists, only they will be more vociferous.
    So like the Alex’s and his henchmen, Pro Hizbollah supporters will come out fighting, tripping over themselves and their contradictory stances.

    First it was an Israeli/American plot that murdered Harriri and other prominent Lebanese figures after him. Then these ziocons established the STL to frame HA. Now, those HA members implicated in the murder are either spies for Mossad/CIA or this whole thing is a fabrication.

    Posted by maverick | June 30, 2011, 8:44 am
  9. What a disappointment!
    The U.N. “blamed it” on a Lebanese group after everybody blamed Syria in ’05.

    Every Lebanese knows that Hezbollah does not concern itself with killing Prime Ministers, it has Always been against Israel.

    That document should have Solid, uncontested real Solid proof of why the names mentioned were included.

    I am disappointed, cause it doesn’t make sense. Even for such a world authority such as the U.N.,a generation will regard this international body as a Sham!

    Gimmeh those Solid proofs…gimmeh proofs that are more convincing than the ones Hezbollah gave…. We’ve een paying up to our teeth for these proof!

    Posted by Georges | June 30, 2011, 8:44 am
  10. Why (per the CNN report) would they parse out the indictments (the ‘on the ground’ suspects now, the ‘planners and organizers’ “later this summer”)??

    Posted by Tosk59 | June 30, 2011, 8:52 am
  11. STL, Daniel Bellemare & UNIIIC are the laughing stock of the “Legal community” worldwide. You can take that to the Bank!

    Paraprosdokian…. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian

    Posted by HK | June 30, 2011, 9:05 am
  12. STL – They ‘blamed it’ on 4 Lebanese affiliated with Hezbollah

    http://theinnercircle.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/stl-they-blamed-it-on-4-lebanese-affiliated-with-hezbollah/

    Posted by Abbas | June 30, 2011, 9:15 am
  13. So far these are the names that have been leaked. I will be surprised if these would be the only names. There must be some other high ranking Syrian names that are indicted besides the HA four and the grunts. Wait for the Syrian shoe to drop.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 30, 2011, 9:54 am
  14. Now, those HA members implicated in the murder are either spies for Mossad/CIA or this whole thing is a fabrication.

    Maverick,

    Yes, they’re all members of our synagogue. And they all bought a nice share of Israel bonds on Rosh Hashana…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 30, 2011, 10:19 am
  15. From QN’s fascinating twitter feed:

    “rstilskin R.S.S.

    @blakehounshell @abumuqawama @qifanabki @evanchill CIA was prime suspect for Hariri killing according to BBC on day of incident. No mention?
    58 minutes ago”

    HK. Is that YOU?

    From the gitgo, it’s already apparent that this STL business is a circus maximus on steroids.

    Posted by lally | June 30, 2011, 10:43 am
  16. Lally…

    You never answered (or I missed your answer).

    Are you an American of Lebanese, or MENA, extract?

    Posted by Gabriel | June 30, 2011, 10:48 am
  17. Sorry, Gaby.

    I’m just another admiring American with a MENA hobby.

    Posted by lally | June 30, 2011, 11:01 am
  18. As someone stated earlier: The haters are coming out of the woodwork today.

    Having said that, no earth shattering news here. And I don’t really expect anything major to happen in reaction to this just quite yet.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 30, 2011, 12:54 pm
  19. Ghassan,

    We really don’t know how the prosecutor is building his case. I assume he will start with the Assassination squad and move up to the multiple heads of the serpent…Khameini; Bashar & Nassrallah.

    Question Marks. This is a court. No questioning needed. They are indicted and thus the accused!

    Lally; ussama; Especially HK on acid. Your time has come. Stop pontificating with your inane remarks and let the evidence speak!

    I will accept any and all verdicts without reservations (even if it clears the terrorist mafia Hizb el illahi)

    Posted by danny | June 30, 2011, 10:01 pm

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