Lebanon News

STL: Jumblatt to testify on Hariri assassination

Jumblatt gestures as he walks out of Parliament in Downtown Beirut November 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)

BEIRUT: Judges at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Tuesday that Druze leader Walid Jumblatt would be allowed to testify in The Hague about the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Jumblatt, a close ally of Hariri and head of the Progressive Socialist Party, has indicated in the past that he would be willing to testify before the U.N.-backed tribunal.

Judge David Re, the president of the trial chamber, ruled that Jumblatt’s evidence, which will cover the breakdown of relations between Hariri and Syrian President Bashar Assad, was relevant to the case and could help clarify the motive behind the assassination.

Judges also allowed the prosecution to summon Ali Hamade, a journalist at An-Nahar newspaper and confidante of Hariri, to testify.

The STL is tasked with prosecuting those responsible for the 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others and led to protests that ended Syria’s tutelage over its smaller neighbor. Five members of Hezbollah have been indicted in the case, but prosecutors are now focusing on Syria’s role in destabilizing Lebanon ahead of the assassination.

 

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