Assad’s brother, brother-in-law are suspects in Hariri’s murder, report


The day the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) team delivered the indictment to Lebanon , several reports from Beirut indicated that the delegation will head to Syria to deliver the Syrian portion of the indictment in the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri .

An STL delegation met June 30 with Lebanon’s state prosecutor Said Mirza and handed him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment and the arrest warrants. Two of the suspects Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash are reportedly senior members of the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah while the other two Hassan Aneissy, also known as Hassan Issa, and Assad Sabra played a supporting role in the execution of the assassination.

According to a report by Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot handing the indictment to Damascus was postponed due to the Syrian unrest.

According to the paper at least two prominent members of President Bashar Assad’s family will be on the list, his younger brother Maher (Assad ) who has been commanding the crackdown against the protesters and his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat ( married to Assad’s sister Bushra) , former head of Military Intelligence and current deputy chief-of-staff of the armed forces.”

Berlin Chief Public Prosecutor and former UN chief investigator Detlev Mehlis said during an interview with the German radio Deutsche Welle on June 16 that the “Syrian president ordered the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri after suspecting that he was behind a coup to topple the Syrian regime and disarm Hezbollah in cooperation with France and U.S.”

Der Spiegel magazine which was the first to leak details ( May2009) about Hezbollah’s involvement in Hariri murder has reportedly leaked that “new indictments in the STL will include Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian suspects.”

The Israeli newspaper also reported that the prime suspects, Mustafa Badreddine and Salim Ayyash ( also known as Abu Salim) , have already left Lebanon and are currently hiding in Iran.”