Last updated: 1 December, 2011

UN’s Hariri tribunal confirms Lebanese payment

The UN-backed court probing the murder of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri thanked Beirut on Thursday for making its annual payment and hailed its commitment to the rule of law.

“With this contribution of $32,184,635 (23,864,570 euros) the representatives of the Lebanese people have demonstrated their commitment to work for the rule of law and long-term stability,” the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in a statement.

Lebanon’s full payment for 2011 was received on Thursday morning, it added.

Lebanon is responsible for meeting 49 percent of the funding of the tribunal created by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution at Lebanon’s request.

The rest comes from voluntary contributions from states.

The court opened its doors in 2009, tasked with trying those suspected of responsibility for the death of Hariri and 22 others in a massive Beirut car bomb blast in February 2005.

Controversy over Lebanon’s funding has threatened to derail the Hezbollah-dominated government.

The Iranian and Syrian-backed Shiite group has repeatedly called for an end to cooperation with the STL, insisting Lebanon should withhold payment.

Mikati last week threatened to resign should his government refuse to fund the STL, a source of political tension in Lebanon since its creation.

The tribunal has issued arrest warrants for four Hezbollah members accused of the killings and its judges are currently mulling whether to try them in their absence, should they fail to be arrested.