This commentary was published in The Daily Star on 25/01/2011
Lebanon is about to face one of those moments that illuminate the character of a country. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is about to move into high gear. The institution’s prosecutor has now handed over draft indictments to a pretrial judge. It is widely believed that persons connected with Hezbollah will be named.
An outside observer might think a public trial of those involved in Hariri’s murder is a positive sign. It would mark a dramatic shift away from Lebanon’s history of settling sectarian strife with bullets and bombs. However, so tortured is the country’s past that inside Lebanon the prospect of the assassins being brought to justice has spawned more fear and loathing than hope.