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Lebanon polarised as Hariri tribunal opens

16 January 2014 Last updated at 05:48 GMT

Almost nine years after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the opening session of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Thursday in the Hague is being hailed by its supporters as a historic moment for international justice and for Lebanon.

It is the first time in legal history that an international court is trying a case based on terrorism charges, and also the first time since the post-World War Two Nuremberg trials that international prosecutions are being pursued in absentia.

Jim Muir reports.

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