UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called on Lebanon to respect the verdict of a UN-backed court on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
“The Secretary General’s thoughts are with the victims of the 14 February attack and their families,” his spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a statement.
Haq said Guterres “expresses his deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the judges and staff involved in this case throughout the years.”
UN court sentences 2 Hezbollah members to life over 2005 murder of Lebanon’s prime minister Rafik Hariri. In defendants’ absence, appeals chamber hands Habib Merhi and Hussein Oneissi the heaviest punishment it can issue, over killing of the Lebanese PMhttps://t.co/s9AvKMW92b— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) June 16, 2022
The UN chief also underlined the “independence and impartiality of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon” in following the case over the years.
On Thursday, the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon sentenced in absentia two members of Hezbollah group — Hassan Merhi and Hussein Oneissi — to life imprisonment in connection with Hariri’s killing in 2005 along with 22 other people.
In 2020, the court also convicted in absentia Hezbollah member Salim Ayyash, whose whereabouts remain unknown.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was formed by a UN resolution in 2007 to probe the assassination and other cases of serious nature in the country.
Al Bawaba /YL