Lebanon's Hariri accepts STL's verdict, calls for justice

The tribunal found the main defendant guilty on all counts for his involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, but acquitted the three other suspects

  

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Tuesday said that he accepted the verdict of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and called for justice to be implemented.

The tribunal found the main defendant guilty on all counts for his involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, but acquitted the three other suspects.

“We accept the court's ruling and want justice to be served so that the criminals are clearly brought to justice,” Hariri said outside the court in the Netherlands.

"Justice will be executed, regardless of how long it takes," he said.

Hariri stressed that the “verdict sends a message to the killers that the era of political crimes is over,” and asked Hezbollah to offer sacrifices after it was ruled that the killer belonged to the party.

"Hezbollah is the one that should make sacrifices today," he said. "I repeat: we will not rest until punishment is served."

Hariri took the opportunity to draw parallels between the investigation into his father’s death and the ongoing probe into the deadly Beirut Port explosion, which has killed at least 180 people.

“My new demand after the terrible disaster of Aug. 4 is that truth and justice for Rafik Hariri should set a precedent for uncovering the truth and justice for all the innocents and wounded who fell in Beirut’s bombing,” Hariri said.

The STL found Hezbollah member Salim Jamil Ayyash guilty of being a coperpetrator in the conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, of committing a terrorist act, of intentional homicide of Hariri and 21 others, and of the attempted intentional homicide of the 226 others who were injured by the massive truck bomb that rocked Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005.

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