[QODLink]
Inside Story
Hariri tribunal begins
What impact will the trial have on Lebanon's fragile political stage?
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2009 09:09 GMT

Watch part two 

An international tribunal on the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, opened in The Hague today.
 
Daniel Bellemare, the chief prosecutor of the UN court, has said that he will ask Lebanon to hand over four army generals being held in custody in connection with the case.

The four men, who include a former head of Lebanese state security, have been in custody for over three years since.

Al-Hariri was killed, along with 22 others, when a truck bomb targeted his motorcade in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005.

The incident sparked accusations that Syria was behind the attack and led to a series of reprisal killings and the eventual withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon after 29 years in the politically troubled country. 

Though UN investigators have yet to name any Syrian suspects, many prominent Lebanese politicians, including Saad al-Hariri, Rafiq al-Hariri's son, have accused Syria of being behind the bombing, a claim Damascus strongly denies.

The Special Tribunal's budget will be $35m for its first year, $45m for the second and $40m for the third, with 51 per cent coming from international donors and the other 49 per cent from Lebanon.

But will the tribunal be able to function free from external political influences? 
How will the likely political and legal ramifications of the trial affect Lebanon's fragile political stage? If prosecutions are made, what will it mean for the future of Lebanese-Syrian relations?
 
Inside Story
presenter Kamal Santamaria is joined by Akram Zouri, the lawyer representing Jamil al-Sayyad, the detained former general security chief, Nidal Jurdi, an international criminal law expert, and Damir al-Taqi, the director of the Orient Centre for International Studies.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 1730GMT with repeats at 2230GMT, and 430GMT and 830GMT on Monday.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
join our mailing list