world Fifteen years after the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the...

Fifteen years after the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the verdict of the long-awaited trial

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This year, Ihsan Fayad will commemorate the memory of her husband, Talal Nasser, with the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. Besides the current leader of the Future, it was especially his father, Rafic Hariri, whom Ihsan Fayad knew well. Her husband ” was bodyguard of Rafic Hariri for 23 years, and spent his time with him She remembers. Until February 14, 2005, when Talal Nasser, Rafic Hariri and 20 others died in a truck bomb attack in Beirut. Fifteen years later, Ihsan Fayad is still awaiting the verdict of the trial of the perpetrators of this act.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (TSL)

Following the political blast generated by the assassination, which led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops after almost 30 years in Lebanon, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (TSL) was created in June 2007, in The Hague, to try the responsibles. In February 2012, the STL, which depends on the United Nations and administers the Lebanese Penal Code, decides on a trial by default for conspiracies, terrorist acts and killings of four men who are members of Hezbollah, and then charges a fifth. Their absence trial started in January 2014 and the oral arguments took place in September 2018. Since then, three judges have deliberated and ” it is impossible to speculate on the date of the judgment “Said Wajed Ramadan, spokesperson for the STL.

“Stuck between geopolitics and justice”

Yes ” ad hoc judicial institutions are still slow, says Anthony Elghossain, lawyer, the problem with the STL is that it is trapped between geopolitics and justice. ” Since its foundation, the TSL has brought together many detractors in Lebanon, particularly on the pro-Syrian and pro-Hezbollah sides. The Party of God exercised there ” psychological pressure, it had an indirect influence on the conduct of the court, its agenda or the attribution of judges Remembers Robert Roth, former president of the TSL Trial Chamber.

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Henceforth, the slowness of the verdict would come under Anglo-Saxon procedure. ” This trial should have lasted a year! It shows its failure by its duration “Says Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, a lawyer practicing at the Paris Bar defending the interests of one of the accused. An opinion shared by Robert Roth: ” for each piece of evidence brought to the file – any document or statement retained in support of the verdict_, it must be specified where it came from, how it was brought etc .; the judges who deliberate must therefore do ant work “.

“Get justice”

If the verdict “guilty” is pronounced, it will not have much impact in Lebanon, ” since most political parties expect it, says Randa Slim of the Middle East Institute, the verdict “not guilty” would on the other hand have an interesting impact because it would galvanize the pro-Syrian and pro-Hezbollah camp, which claims its innocence “. In any case, the verdict is crucial for the families of the victims who, as Ihsan Fayad reminds us, “ have not given up hope of getting the justice they deserve. “

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