File - A pre-trial conference for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)
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Defense lawyers at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon grilled former Al-Jazeera bureau chief Ghassan Ben Jeddo Friday about a possible role for Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.Citing phone records, Guenael Mettraux said that less than one month prior to Hariri's assassination on Feb. 14, 2005, Awad al-Masri had sent a text message to an Islamist militant.Vincent Courcelle Labrousse, who represents one of the five Hezbollah members accused of plotting Hariri's killing and the ensuing cover-up, went so far as to ask Ben Jeddo to identify photos of 17 individuals, many affiliated to Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya.Ben Jeddo was also quizzed about a man identified only as Wissam who worked briefly at Al-Jazeera immediately prior to Hariri's assassination. The subject of the scheduled 2005 parliamentary elections was broached between the two leaders, Ben Jeddo said.
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