The UN-backed Hariri tribunal has held its first session in the Dutch town of Leidschendam near The Hague. The objective of the session was to settle legal points before it can issue arrest warrants for those behind the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
The hearing took place against the backdrop of a political crisis in Lebanon. In January, the militant Hezbollah movement withdrew from the unity government led by Hariri's son, Saad al-Hariri, after he refused to severe links with the tribunal. Hezbollah has urged the new prime minister Najib Mikati to withdraw Lebanon’s support for the court.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is the first international court with jurisdiction over the crime of terrorism. It was set up to try those accused of the bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others in 2005.
The indictment is expected to accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the killing. Hezbollah denies any involvement.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide