On June 30th, the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon submitted to the government of Lebanon, an indictment and arrest warrants for a number of suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and the murder of 22 other persons who died as a direct consequence of the assassination.
Prime Minister Hariri was assassinated on February 14th, 2005, when a massive explosion detonated as his motorcade drove through the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Hariri's murder resulted in serious consequences for Lebanon, and led to enormous political changes. It deepened the divisions between the Shia and Sunni Muslims, triggered the Cedar Revolution, forcing Damascus to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and end its nearly 30-year control over that country.
"The confirmation of the indictments by the pre-trial judge and their delivery by the Special Tribunal to the Lebanese authorities is an important milestone toward justice and ending a period of impunity for political violence in Lebanon," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a written statement. "We call on the government of Lebanon to continue to meet its obligations under international law to support the Special Tribunal.
"The Special Tribunal is an independent judicial entity, established by an agreement between the Lebanese Government and the United Nations in response to a very difficult time in Lebanon’s history. Its work is legitimate and necessary. It represents a chance for Lebanon to move beyond its long history of political violence and to achieve the future of peace and stability that the Lebanese people deserve. Those who oppose the Special Tribunal seek to create a false choice between justice and stability. Lebanon, like any country, needs and deserves both," wrote Secretary Clinton.
"The United States congratulates the Special Tribunal for its hard work on completing this important step."