14 February 2015

In Lebanon, political murderers elude justice

Al Jazeera America

Ten years ago on Valentine’s Day, Lebanon’s multibillionaire ex–Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed along with 21 others when a massive explosion intercepted his motorcade as it drove along the seaside promenade in Beirut.
Soon after, a billboard appeard at a city intersection, featuring Hariri’s picture and a digital counter that tracked the number of days that had elapsed since the assassination. As only befits a dysfunctional state with relentless electricity problems, the counter eventually stopped working, and the space remained dark until its resuscitation in January 2014 with a new purpose: counting the days since the kickoff of court proceedings at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), the United Nations–backed entity created in The Hague to try suspects in the Hariri killing.
The creation of the court, officially launched in 2009, was preceded by a U.N. investigation set in motion by Security Council Resolution 1595. The expectation of justice for Lebanon is, however, complicated by the nature of the tribunal itself.
Political murders have long been a fixture of the Lebanese landscape, but since the 1970s, not a single one has been solved. The Hariri assassination is the only such crime to have merited a judicial spectacle of this sort. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA AMERICA.