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antonio cassese, judge lebanon tribunalIn an interview with al-Arabiya satellite channel, Special Tribunal for Lebanon President Antonio Cassesse expressed hope that progress will be made before the end of the year in the investigation into the murder of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri and related crimes but admitted that the “investigators face difficulties in terrorist crimes.”

Addressing the families of victims of political assassinations, Cassesse said: ‘They have to trust the work of the professional and highly skilled Tribunal. Justice is coming and we will identity the killers and prove our professionalism. “

The Lebanese people are getting impatient with the Tribunal and started wondering if STL will ever uncover the truth or try the killers .

Cassesse statement constitutes a step back in the progress of the investigation and the trials. Early this month the UN issued a report in which it stated that ” the investigation of Hariri murder has uncovered several leads that will result in naming the suspects and speeding up the trial . New evidence will allow the court to identify the perpetrator and where he came from.”

Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri was assassinate on February 14, 2005 . The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, STL was established in 2007 based on UNSCR1780 to try the killers of Hariri.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon President Antonio Cassesse hoped that progress will be made before year’s end in the investigation into the murder of ex-PM Rafik Hariri and related crimes, promising families of victims of political assassinations to identify the killers and “prove our professionalism.”

In an interview with al-Arabiya satellite channel, Cassesse acknowledged that “investigators face difficulties in terrorist crimes.”

He declined to predict on when the charge sheet into the Hariri attack and related crimes would be issued, saying this falls under the jurisdiction of the STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare.

Cassesse, however, expressed hope that progress will be made in the investigation before December 2010.

He denied any interference with the work of the court, nor with the work of Bellemare, stressing that “everyone should understand that court work takes (more) time.”

“I have no doubt that we will uncover the truth and I’m sure we are getting at it,” Cassesse told al-Arabiya.

“We will contribute to strengthening the Lebanese judiciary and reveal the truth based on the highest standards of justice,” he added.

Addressing the families of victims of political assassinations, Cassesse said: ‘They have to trust the work of the professional and highly skilled Tribunal. Justice is coming and we will identity the killers and prove our professionalism. “

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