File - Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, left, Parliament member Marwan Hamadeh and Bahiyah Hariri, sister of President Hariri, are pictured during a meeting at the Parliament in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 14, 2005. (AP Photo/str)
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Less than 24 hours before his assassination, the usually unflappable former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was noticeably disturbed by a news report suggesting Syria might be plotting to assassinate him and other senior Lebanese politicians, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon heard Tuesday.In his third hearing, former MP Ghattas Khoury told the Hague-based tribunal that that he and former Minister Basil Fuleihan met with Hariri at Qoreitem Palace Feb. 13, 2005 – the eve of his assassination – and were struck by his unusually "upset" response to a report in pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat about credible threats of impending bloodshed in Lebanon. While Hariri received threats "on a daily basis," Khoury said the former premier seemed shaken this time.Khoury further testified that at the time of Hariri's assassination, not a single Lebanese security agency was outside of Syria's influence.Khoury also discussed a meeting that took place between various politicians opposed to Syria's hegemony in Lebanon in the Bristol Hotel Feb. 2, 2005, just two weeks before Hariri's assassination.
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