chapter  5
39 Pages

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the legitimacy of Hezbollah

This chapter considers how Hezbollah creates and maintains legitimacy in various constituencies and how the investigation into the murder of Hariri and the subsequent indictments by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) impacted on that ability. On 14 February 2005, the detonation of a truck filled with approximately 2500 kilograms of TNT ripped to pieces the armoured car of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, killing him and 22 others. Hariri dominated post-civil war Lebanese politics, and the charismatic billionaire was about to run for a third term as prime minister when he was killed. Contrary to tradition, the murder of Hariri was thoroughly investigated, albeit by the UN. To prosecute those responsible for his murder the STL was established. This was the result of a combination of factors: the power of Hariri's legacy united a large part of the Lebanese Sunni in the Future Movement; and the stance of France and the United States.