On Tuesday, the years-long wait for the verdict was finally over. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced its decision on the guilt of four suspects accused of participating in the killing of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on February 14th, 2005.
The STL was established in 2009, four years after Hariri was assassinated. Its purpose as an independent body was to provide an unbiased, unpolitical, and honest investigation into the murder that shocked the nation.
Since Hariri’s death, Lebanon’s post-war ‘ordeal’ for survival only got more difficult. A timeline by Reuters paints a picture of the spiraling downfall since 2005 until today.
Not only did the incident end the life of a widely revered leader who contributed to the rebuilding of Beirut after the civil war, but it also took the lives of 21 others that day.
In addition, the brilliant Lebanese ISF Intelligence Capt, Wissam Eid who, as later praised, “cracked the case on his own” back then, was murdered in a car bomb that also took the lives of more people.
Large sums of money were paid to fund the STL. Unlike the common belief that Lebanon solely assumed the cost, a total of 29 countries contributed to funding the investigation, which lasted over a decade.
This includes countries from across the map from the U.S. to Japan. Together, the 29 countries covered 51% of the cost, while Lebanon paid 49%, amounting to $366,002,266.-
The total cost of the STL was $746,943,400.-
On a side note, Lebanon never failed to pay its annual financial contribution to the investigation, even in 2020 while facing its worst economic crisis in recent history.
The contributors that funded all these years the STL investigation are:
TFYR of Macedonia
United States of America
+ Other donors without indication clarifying who and what are they.