Wednesday, December 22, 2010

".. Why give justice for one man and deny it to thousands?.."

"...Unlike other international tribunals, like the ICTY in former Yugoslavia, the special court for Sierra Leone or the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda, all looking at mass atrocities, the special tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was set up to prosecute the killers of one person, Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister, and those who perished with him in a central Beirut explosion in February 2005.
But why give justice for one man and deny it to thousands?
Regardless of Hariri's controversial postwar reconstruction and corruption legacy, the tribunal owed its existence to two primary factors. First, the assassination's critical timing. Two years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, regime change was still on the table and the Bush administration's neocons were longing for revenge against Syria's backing of Iraq's brutal insurgency.
Hariri's international connections also played a significant role, especially his Saudi ties and his friendship with the French president at the time, Jacques Chirac. of the special tribunal's leading and most persistent advocates is Samir Geagea, a militia leader turned politician. Geagea, the Lebanese Forces leader, who is explicitly a US ally, was indicted in the assassination of the acting prime minister Rashid Karami in 1987 and the murder of his political rival, Christian leader Dani Chamoun, along with his wife and two sons in 1990 .... In a shocking quirk of fate, Geagea secured for his party two ministries in the latest national unity government (2009), among them the justice ministry...."

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