Verdict due over assassination of Lebanon ex-PM Rafik Hariri

The long-awaited verdict is due in the trial of four men allegedly involved in the killing of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri and 21 others in a 2005 bombing, the BBC reports.

The defendants – suspected members of the Hezbollah group – were tried in absentia by a special tribunal in the Netherlands.

Hezbollah and Syria’s government denied any involvement in the attack.

More than 220 people were also injured when a van filled with explosives blew up as Mr Hariri’s convoy passed along Beirut’s seafront corniche.

On the morning of 14 February 2005, Rafik Hariri – then an MP who aligned himself with the opposition in parliament – was travelling in a motorcade past Beirut’s St George Hotel when a bomb hidden a van exploded.

The blast created a huge crater in the street, and left nearby vehicles smouldering and shopfronts blown out and blackened.

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