Four Lebanese generals await Hariri judge’s decision Wednesday on their fate

It is up to the pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen of the international tribunal seeking the murderers of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri to decide whether the four Lebanese generals should stay in custody. They have been held for four years on suspicion of a hand in the Hariri murder in 2005 on the orders of Syrian military intelligence.
Fransen can either follow the recommendations of the STL’s prosecutor Daniel Bellemare which were submitted earlier this week but have not been made public, or issue a different ruling.
A UN investigative commission has found evidence of collusion in the killing between Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services. Damascus has consistently denied any involvement.
The ruling will also carry political impact as it comes ahead of a crucial legislative election in June which will see the current parliamentary majority headed by Hariri’s son Saad fight it out with a Hizballah-led alliance.
Sunday, US secretary of state paid a surprise visit to Beirut and paid her respects at the Hariri tomb.
She found it necessary to state: “So I want to reassure any Lebanese citizen that the United States will never make any deal with Syria that sells out Lebanon or the Lebanese people.”
The four Lebanese generals are Jamil Sayyed, Ali Hajj, Raymond Azar and Mustafa Hamdan who respectively headed the General Security Department, the Internal Security Forces, Military Intelligence and the Presidential Guards Brigade.
The Assad regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to quash the international legal proceedings for fear the Syrian president’s close circle will be implicated in one of the most outrageous assassinations in recent Middle East history.

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