A special U.N.-backed court probing the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri said Wednesday it will try four Hezbollah members in absentia for the 2005 bomb attack.
“The trial chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has decided to try the four men accused of the 14 February 2005 attack in their absence,” the Hague-based STL said in a statement.
“The Trial Chamber concluded that all reasonable steps have been taken to secure the appearance of the accused and to notify them of the charges against them,” it added.
The STL sent arrest warrants for Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Anaissi and Assad Sabra to Lebanese authorities on June 30, and Interpol issued a “red notice” in July.
Beirut has however failed to arrest them.
The four are accused of assassinating Hariri and 21 others in a massive suicide car bomb blast near a Beirut hotel on Feb. 14, 2005, while the politician was on his way home.
The STL is the only international court that has a mandate to try suspects in absentia.
Created by a 2007 U.N. Security Council resolution at Lebanon’s request, the STL opened its doors in 2009 and is tasked with trying those suspected of responsibility for Hariri’s assassination.