x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Lebanon tribunal lets 58 victims take part in Hariri proceedings

A special UN-backed court investigating the car bomb killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri said yesteday it would allow 58 victims to take part in the case against the four accused.

THE HAGUE // A special UN-backed court investigating the car bomb killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri said yesteday it would allow 58 victims to take part in the case against the four accused.

"The pre-trial judge has determined that 58 of 73 victims, of the attack on February 14, 2005, attack who applied to do so can now take part in the proceedings," the Special Tribunal for Lebanon( STL) said.

Hariri, a billionaire politician and 22 others, including a suicide bomber, were killed in a car bomb blast in Beirut as Hariri was on his way home.

In early February, The Hague-based STL said it would put four members of the Shiite Hizbollah group on trial for the blast and had previously issued warrants for their arrests.

But Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Anaissi and Assad Sabra remain at large and will be tried in absentia.

The STL's registrar now will appoint representation for the victims who will remain anonymous unless judges order that their identity be revealed.

Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the STL as a US-Israeli conspiracy and vowed that no member of Hizbollah would ever be found or arrested. The group denies involvement in the Hariri attack.