STL Prosecution: Syrian Regime at the Heart of Hariri Assassination Plot

STL Prosecution: Syrian Regime at the Heart of Hariri Assassination Plot

The prosecution team at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon made its closing arguments on Tuesday, as the legal proceedings in the murder case of PM Rafik Hariri have reached the final stage.

The team drew attention on the potential involvement of the Syrian regime, noting that all of the four main suspects are affiliated to Hezbollah.

“The Syrian regime was at the heart of the plot to assassinate Rafik Hariri in 2005," the prosecution team stressed. “The assassination came at time of extreme tension between Syria’s Bachar Assad and Rafik Hariri”.

In its final brief, the STL prosecution pointed out that Mustafa Badreddine was the mastermind behind the assassination of Rafik Hariri, describing him as "an experienced Hezbollah operative with the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to train and lead others in the sophisticated preparation and execution of the attack."

"Badreddine’s status within Hezbollah explains how he was able to operate using a covert Hezbollah phone network," the prosecution team stated.

“Though not necessary for a conviction, Prosecution evidence demonstrates the links between the Accused and Hezbollah and explains the political context in which the attack occurred,” STL Prosecution declared, adding that “evidence also demonstrates how the conspiracy unfolded alongside political developments in Lebanon.”

“It is evident that the assassination was political in nature; there is no other reasonable explanation for the meticulously planned, audacious attack against one of Lebanon's most prominent political figures,” the STL prosecution affirmed, adding that the attack was carried out in a way obviously designed to make a dramatic public statement.

"The 14 February attack was executed as part of a sophisticated, multi-faceted mission that could only have been the product of a conspiracy," the team also emphasized.

STL Prosecution asserted that the perpetrators, acting with premeditation, used explosive materials to intentionally murder Hariri and 21 others and are also responsible for the attempted intentional homicide of 226 people.