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In Lebanon, the Hariri tribunal finds itself on trial

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While some international jurists advocate a delay – partly to allow the new government time to form and partly to address legal issues – tribunal officials at The Hague insist they will press on. Indictments were given to a pretrial judge on Jan. 17.

Some Lebanese see the tribunal as compensation for an era of politically motivated killing. Others see Rafik Hariri as the billionaire friend of Jacques Chirac (Mr. Chirac resides rent-free in a Paris apartment overlooking the Seine that is owned by the Hariri family) and the tribunal as a political tool aimed at the world of Shiite militants from Lebanon to Iran.

"I used to support the tribunal but now I think it's going to cause more trouble than it's worth. I don't like to say this, but sometimes I think it's better if it just went away," says Yasmina Hobeika a 20-something Christian woman who works as a hair stylist in Beirut.

But Sami Salam, a young Sunni and sound engineer, argues, "We should know who is behind all these killings, even if the tribunal is scrapped. We cannot just forget about it after all this time."

The only tribunal organized for a single assassination

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