Hamade described the assassination attempt against him and the wounds he sustained in the attack, including two brain hemorrhages, burns and wounds in his face, chest and leg. (The Daily Star/File)
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A senior U.N. envoy advised former Premier Rafik Hariri to leave Lebanon three days before he was assassinated, after Syrian President Bashar Assad used "angry and threatening" language to describe the Lebanese leader, judges at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were told Monday.Syria had a substantial troop presence at the time.He had met with Assad before arriving in Lebanon, and insisted on meeting Hariri before flying out of the country, Hamade said. The STL is trying in absentia five members of Hezbollah in connection with the Valentine's Day bombing in Downtown Beirut in 2005 that killed Hariri and 21 others and led to street protests that ended Syria's tutelage over Lebanon two months later.Hamade's testimony has focused on two meetings between Hariri and Assad in which the Syrian leader ordered the Lebanese premier to acquiesce to the controversial Lahoud extension, as well as on the fallout from Resolution 1559 and the formation of the anti-Syrian opposition in Lebanon.Hariri believed that Syria would allow him to form a national unity government after the Lahoud extension to calm tensions in the country, Hamade said.
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