Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tribunal indicts Hezbollah for Lebanese PM Hariri's killing: War drums beat

Two of the four people indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are senior members of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, multiple sources in the region told CNN on Thursday.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued the indictments, and a U.N. source familiar with the body said the people include alleged perpetrators on the ground. The sources said they include Mustafa Badreddine and Hasan Oneisa.

Badreddine -- who is the brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh, a former Hezbollah commander who was assassinated in Syria in 2008 -- is reported to be a member of Hezbollah's advisory council. The other names on the list are Salim Ayyah and Asad Sabra.

Two additional lists of indictments are expected later this summer and are expected to include the organizers and planners of the attack, the U.N. source said.

A U.N. source said Lebanese State Prosecutor Said Mirza had been informed of the indictees' names and arrest warrants, but that Mirza didn't immediately know the substance of the indictments.

Suspected connections of Hezbollah and the Syrian government to the killing have raised tensions in the country, stoking fears of sectarian conflict erupting in the ethnically and religiously diverse nation, which endured a civil war from 1975 to 1990.

Hezbollah has had longstanding animosity toward the tribunal, based on the expectation that some of its members would be indicted as conspirators in Hariri's assassination. (read more)