The United Nations’ decision to set up a special court to try the suspected killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has been greeted with satisfaction by many people in Beirut. Lebanese politicians were hotly divided on the need for the UN tribunal, but it was requested by present Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. Neighbouring Syria says it is violation of Lebanese sovereignty. Others say it was necessary.
“This decision had to be taken,” said one Beirut resident. “They can’t agree on the tribunal here in Lebanon but we want to know the truth.” “We are very glad. We want this tribunal in order to feel satisfied,” said another. “All Lebanese will feel better about it.”
Saad al-Hariri, a politician like his late father, went to visit his tomb following the UN vote. He insists his family is not seeking revenge. “We want justice, punishment for those responsible, and the truth, which all Lebanese deserve,” he said. Overnight, there were street celebrations at the news.
Rafik al-Hariri was murdered in a bomb blast two years ago. The finger of blame was pointed at Syria, which was forced to withdraw its troops in Lebanon. A Belgian prosecutor is leading the investigation.