The focus on Hezbollah has relieved some pressure on the Syrian regime, which was initially blamed by many for Hariri's murder. However, sources close to the tribunal say that the working assumption of the investigators is that the order for Hariri’s assassination came from the Syrian leadership, possibly in coordination with Iran, even if a unit within Hezbollah was contracted to carry out the operation. More indictments are possible depending on the progress of the investigation.
Three officials from the Netherlands-based tribunal have delivered the indictments to Said Mirza, Lebanon’s prosecutor-general, who now has a 30-day period to arrest the suspects.
Although the names are supposed to remain sealed for the first 30 days, they were quickly leaked to the Lebanese media. They included Mustafa Badreddine, a senior Hezbollah official who is also a cousin and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s military commander who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008.
According to sources close to the Lebanese judiciary, Mr. Badreddine is a Shiite who operates under the alias of Sami Issa, a Lebanese Christian, and was in overall charge of planning and coordinating Hariri’s murder. Other names included Salim Ayyache, reportedly the head of Hezbollah’s Execution Unit; Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa; and Assad Sabra.