The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has finally published full details of an indictment that names those accused of assassinating the Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on 14th February 2005.
Salim Jamil Ayyash, born on 10 November 1963 in Harouf, Lebanon, Mustafa Amine Badreddine (aka Sami Issa, Mustafa Youssef Badreddine, Elias Fouad Saab) born on 6 April 1961 in Al-Ghobeiry, Beirut, Hussein Hassan Oneissi (aka Hussein Hassan Issa) born on 11 February 1974 in Beirut, Lebanon, and; Assad Hassan Sabra, born on 15 October 1976 in Beirut, Lebanon, are wanted by the Lebanese authorities in connection with the investigation.
The authorities in Lebanon have so far failed to arrest the suspects leading the President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge Antonio Cassese, to rule that the indictment must be advertised before in absentia proceedings can be made.
The indictment alleges that the team tracked the Prime Minister’s convoy prior to a suicide bomb attack that killed 22 people and injured 231 others. It is also alleged that Oneissi and Sabra called Al-Jazeera and Reuters to plant false evidence of the attack being perpetrated by ‘Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria’. It is the phone evidence that led to the identification of the men.
The prosecutor alleges that the roles of the accused were as follows:
“Badreddine served as the overall controller of the attack. Ayyash coordinated the assassination team that was responsible for the physical perpetration of the attack. Oneissi and Sabra, in addition to being conspirators, prepared and delivered the false claim of responsibility video, which sought to blame the wrong people, in order to shield the conspirators from justice.”
The assassination of Rafiq Hariri ultimately led to the expulsion of Syrian forces from Lebanon as Oneissi and Sabra had implicated Syrian influences in the killing. It has later been alleged that Hizb’allah was behind the attack in a double-bluff attempt to undermine Syria’s control in Lebanon.