The trial opens as political and security tensions in Lebanon are high. The Syrian conflict has accentuated certain political divisions, particularly between the pro-Syrian “March 8” coalition and the anti-regime “March 14 alliance” led by Rafik Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri. In addition, on the opening day of the trial, Hermel, one of the strongholds of Hezbollah, was attacked, leaving three dead.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was established by an agreement between the Lebanese government and the United Nations, following the Security Council’s 1664 resolution, adopted on 29 March 2006. This agreement was subsequently approved by the UN Security Council’s 1757 resolution on May 30, 2007.
President Jacques Chirac had worked to help Resolution 1559 get adopted on September 2, 2004. It called for respect for the sovereignty of Lebanon and smooth presidential elections according to a “free and independent electoral process”. .”
The process can be followed on the Special Tribunal of Lebanon’s website.