The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) which was set up to carry out the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others requested evidence from the Lebanese state for the death of the main suspect in the case, Mustafa Badreddine, who was the security official for Hezbollah and whose death was announced late last week in circumstances that remain mysterious.
The Tribunal’s announcement raised more than one problem regarding this subject after the group was quick to bury Badreddine. Informed Lebanese sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that documents for Badreddine’s death have been provided by his family but if the public prosecutor at the Tribunal asked for DNA confirmation, this would complicate things.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon yesterday suspended its sessions during which testimonies of witnesses to the prosecution are heared in the Hariri assassination case, pending verification of the death of Badreddine who is being tried in absentia along with four other Hezbollah security officials.
Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, who resigned recently and follows the management of the ministry, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ministry will verify the death of any defendant in the event that the Tribunal requests this.
He added that “it will also commission who it sees as appropriate to conduct the necessary DNA testing and all measures that serve the course of justice”.