THEHAGUE (Reuters) – Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said on Tuesday he is not seeking revenge for the 2005 bombing that killed his father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, and will act to preserve stability in his country.
He made the comments as prosecutors presented closing arguments in the case before a United Nations-backed tribunal against four suspects accused of carrying out the attack that killed Hariri and 21 others.
“We have always wanted justice and have not resorted to revenge,” Hariri, who attended the hearings, told journalists. He added that hearing about the assassination of his father in court was difficult as a son but he had to put his feelings aside.
“There are things that hurt, but when in a position of responsibility, we have to look at the country’s interest,” he said.
Four alleged members of Iran-backed Hezbollah have been tried in absentia of planning and executing the bombing, which rocked the religiously divided country.
Wrapping up the prosecution case, Nigel Povoas said that Lebanon had been “plunged into darkness and horror” by the murder of its leader. The blast had been calculated “to cause profound fear, terror and pain,” he said.
The trial lasted more than four years during which 307 witnesses were called to substantiate allegations. The defendants, who remain at large, face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The closing arguments will run until September 21. No date has been set for a verdict but it is expected next year.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Anthony Deutsch)