A UN-backed tribunal sentenced a member of the Hezbollah militant group to life imprisonment Friday for his involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The defendant, Salim Ayyash, has never been arrested and was not in court at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for Friday’s sentencing hearing.
The tribunal convicted Ayyash in August of being a co-perpetrator in five charges linked to the suicide truck bombing on Beirut’s seafront on February 14, 2005. The huge blast killed Hariri and 21 others and injured 226.
“Mr. Ayyash participated in an act of terrorism that caused mass murder. His role … was vital to the success of the attack,” Presiding Judge David Re said.
The trial chamber is satisfied that it should impose the maximum sentence for each of the five crimes of life imprisonment, to be served concurrently,” Re added.