On 14 February 2005, an explosion occurred near the St. Georges Hotel in downtown Beirut, so powerful that it left a crater at least ten metres wide and two metres deep in the street.
That explosion killed 22 people, including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Many others suffered physical and psychological injuries from the blast, lost loved ones on that day, or suffered financial loss.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was established to bring those responsible for this crime to justice, and to bring justice to the victims of the 14 February attack and connected acts of terrorism.
In this respect, the STL enables victims to participate in trial proceedings. In the present case, over 70 victims have elected to do so and are represented by their own legal team to ensure that their views and concerns are presented at trial.
“[J]ustice is also not to forget the victims' right to see their oppressor tried, [and] their right to protection to prevent similar aggressions in the future [...]. But how do you restore or repair a father you have lost, a daughter, a son, an arm, eyesight? How? [J]ustice cannot undo the harm done to our clients. Justice can and will render justice and give them their rights.”
—Legal Representative of Victims, 17 January 2014
“[The] Defence wishes right from the outset to express its profound and sincere compassion for the victims of the terrible attack of the 14th of February, 2005. [The] Defence wishes to reassure the victims that it in no way disputes the psychological and physical harm that they have suffered. […] The Defence in no way considers them adversaries, but intends to work solely to the furtherance of truth and justice.”
—Defence Counsel, 20 January 2014
“The case is not about numbers; it's about names and human beings, and we wish to put a human face to each of those who perished in this atrocity.”
—Prosecution Counsel, 22 January 2014
Victims who Perished in the Attack
All the victims who died as a result of the 14 February attack were Lebanese and died on that date, unless otherwise noted. The information below is derived from transcripts of the proceedings. Victims are listed in alphabetical order.
Mr Yahya Mustafa Al-Arab
Mr Yahya Mustafa Al-Arab was born in 1943 and worked as the head of security of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Mr Al-Arab used to manage Mr Hariri's daily agenda. Mr Al-Arab was a member of the Al-Ansar football club and a head of the Al-Jazeera swimming club. He was married and had two children.
Mr Rafik Baha'eddine Al-Hariri
Mr Rafik Baha'eddine Al-Hariri was born in 1944 and was the former Prime Minister of Lebanon. His first term as Prime Minister was from 1992 until 1998, during which time he formed three governments. He became Prime Minister again in the year 2000 until the end of October 2004. He was a philanthropist and businessman. He was married and had six children.
Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Khalaf
Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Khalaf was a Syrian born in 1977. He was walking with his friends, Mr Mahmoud Al-Mohammed and Mr Farhan Issa, when the attack occurred. All three men were unemployed and looking for work; all three died.
Mr Sobhi Mohammed Al-Khodr
Mr Sobhi Mohammed Al-Khodr was a Syrian born in 1976. At the time of his death he was a cement worker, working at the St. Georges Hotel. He was married and had a daughter.
Mr Omar Ahmad Al-Masri
Mr Omar Ahmad Al-Masri was born in 1965 and worked as a bodyguard for the former Prime Minister, Mr Rafik Hariri. He was divorced and had five children.
Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Hamad Al-Mohammed
Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Hamad Al-Mohammed was a Syrian born in 1983. Unemployed, he had come to Lebanon searching for work. He was walking with his friends, Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Khalaf and Mr Farhan Ahmed Issa, when all three were killed.
Mr Mazen Adnan Al-Zahabi
Mr Mazen Adnan Al-Zahabi was born in 1974. He was a first-aid specialist on Mr Rafik Al-Hariri’s team, having joined three months before the attack. He was engaged to be married when he died.
Mr Joseph Emile Aoun
Mr Joseph Emile Aoun was born in 1955 and was working with Construction and Trade Company, assigned to the St. Georges Hotel. He was responsible for deliveries to the hotel. He was married.
Ms Rima Mohammed Raif Bazzi
Ms Rima Mohammed Raif Bazzi was born in 1964. She was working as a paediatrician at the American University Hospital at the time of her death.
Mr Abdo Tawfik Bou Farah
Mr Abdo Tawfik Bou Farah was born in 1941. He worked as an auditor at the St. Georges Hotel, and he died in his office. Mr. Bou Farah was married and had a child.
Mr Zahi Halim Abu Rjeily
Mr Zahi Halim Abu Rjeily was born in 1959. He was responsible for maintenance and telecommunications at the St. Georges Hotel and a related building in Ain El Mreisseh, and had worked there for 15 years. He was buried beneath the rubble in the explosion. He was married and his daughters were 14 years old and 11 years old when he died, the day after the attack.
Ms Yamama Kamel Damen
Ms Yamama Kamel Damen was born in 1970 and lived in Brayqi. On the day of the explosion, she had been visiting Beirut and walking with her cousin, Alaa Osfour, who also died. Ms. Damen is survived by three brothers who all live abroad.
Mr Mohammed Saadeddine Darwish
Mr Mohammed Saadeddine Darwish was born in 1981 and worked as Mr Hariri's security guard and personal bodyguard. He was the newest member of Mr Rafik Hariri's security team but had worked with him for four years before the attack.
Mr Bassel Farid Fuleihan (died 18 April 2005)
Mr Bassel Farid Fuleihan was born in 1962 and was a director of public relations and a member of the Lebanese parliament. He belonged to the Future Parliamentary Bloc which was headed by Mr Rafik Hariri. Mr. Fuleihan had been appointed as the Minister of Finance on the 14 November 2000, in Mr Hariri’s government. He was married and had two children. He died of his injuries approximately two months after the attack.
Mr Abd Al-Hamid Mohammed Ghalayeeni
Mr Abdul Hamid Mohammed Ghalayeeni was born in 1946 and ran a clothing shop in Hamra behind the Royal Garden Hotel. He would take brisk walks to keep fit at different times of the day in the Ain El Mreisseh district, and it is believed that he was out walking when he was caught in the explosion. He did not belong to any party, nor was he politically or religiously affiliated. He was a married man and a father of two daughters.
Mr Mohammed Riyadh Hussein Ghalayeeni
Mr Mohammed Riyadh Hussein Ghalayeeni was born in 1975 and worked as a security officer for the former Prime Minister, Rafik Al-Hariri.
Mr Rawad Hussein Suleiman Haidar
Mr Rawad Hussein Suleiman Haidar was born in 1963 and worked in the accounting department of the St. Georges Hotel. He was married with two sons, who were aged 8 and 10 at the time of their father's death.
Mr Farhan Ahmad Issa
Mr Farhan Ahmad Issa was Syrian and born in 1983. He was unemployed and looking for work. He was walking with his friends Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Khalaf and Mr Mahmoud Saleh Al-Hamad Al-Mohammed when all three were killed.
Mr Talal Nabih Nasser
Mr Talal Nabih Nasser was born in 1961 and worked as a personal bodyguard for Mr Rafik Al-Hariri. He was the deputy of the security apparatus, working under Mr Abu Tarek. Mr Nasser was in charge of operational teams and acted as a team leader. He was a married man.
Ms Alaa Hassan Osfour
Ms Alaa Hassan Osfour was born in 1985 and had been studying at Nabatieh Technical College. She was in Beirut for the day on 14 February 2005 because she had seen an advertisement for a job with an engineering company. She had asked her cousin Yamama Damen to accompany her. Both women were killed in the attack.
Mr Haitham Khaled Othman
Mr Haitham Khaled Othman was born in 1975 and was one of seven siblings. He was passing by on his motorcycle, delivering an order, when he was caught in the blast. He later died in hospital.
Mr Ziad Mohammed Tarraf
Mr Ziad Mohammed Tarraf was born in 1972 and had worked as a private security officer for Mr Rafik Al-Hariri since 1988. He was married with two young children.