The U.N.-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has widened its probe to cover three other attacks they believe could be linked, the court announced Friday.This should give Hezbollah something to think about, especially since the authority of the STL to expand the investigation is limited to attacks that are connected to the Hariri assassination:
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said it has established jurisdiction over the June 2005 assassination of anti-Syria politician George Hawi. It also will investigate unsuccessful attempts to kill Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Elias Murr a month later and lawmaker Marwan Hamadeh in October 2004.
The court released few details of the decisions to widen the scope of its investigation, saying it did not want to compromise its work.
It did not release details on why prosecutors believe the three other attacks may be related to Hariri's assassination.
Under the court's rules, it can investigate other attacks if they are of a "similar nature and gravity" to the bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others, including the suicide bomber. They must also share elements such as motive and suspected perpetrators.Considering how long it took the STL to finally come to a conclusion and issue indictments, it is kind of odd to hear that they are going to go back and start all over again with 3 more investigations.
Hawi, a former Communist Party leader, was killed June 21, 2005, by a bomb placed under his car. Murr survived a car bombing that targeted his vehicle as he drove on a north Beirut suburban street. Murr later said he was threatened by Syria's intelligence chief in Lebanon. Hamadeh survived a 2004 car bomb.
But if they can come to a conclusion and find a connection, it should strengthen the case against Hezbollah and Syria--and possibly Iran as well.
Technorati Tag: Rafik Hariri and Lebanon and Hezbollah and Syria.