18 August 2020

Secretary-General Takes Note of Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Verdict in relation to Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s Assassination

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General takes note of today’s delivery by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) of the judgement in which Salim Jamil Ayyash was convicted in relation to the 14 February 2005 attack in Beirut that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others and injured 226 more.  In the same judgement, the three other accused — Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra — were found not guilty.

The Secretary-General’s thoughts are with the victims of the 14 February attack, and their families.  The judgement in the case is a reflection of the international community’s commitment to justice for the terrible crimes committed on that day.

The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the judges and staff involved in this case throughout the years.  The Secretary-General notes the independence and impartiality of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and calls upon all to respect the decision of the Tribunal.

The Secretary‑General also calls on the international community to continue to support the independent judicial proceedings that remain before the STL.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an independent court of law established at the request of the Government of Lebanon, with a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council.

For information media. Not an official record.