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UN tribunal indicts Hezbollah members in Hariri assassination

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Lebanon has 30 days to arrest three suspects indicted

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.

“Together we witness a distinctive historic moment in the political, judicial, security, and moral life of Lebanon,” said Saad Hariri, the former prime minister and son of the slain Rafik who has been living in Paris in recent weeks – reportedly because of death threats. “Lebanon has paid the price of this moment, in decades of killings and assassinations without accountability. It is time to put a final end to this shameful series.”

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