1. Exterior of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) building
2. Wide of Lebanese supporters for the STL outside the building
3. Close of woman carrying picture of murdered former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and a poster showing the scales of justice
4. Mid of supporters holding Lebanese flags
5. Various of media at first day of STL hearing
6. Wide of news conference where the STL logo is revealed showing scales of justice
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel, United Nations:
"It's critical that the people of Lebanon see that this tribunal is an independent and impartial institution. Its establishment constitutes a strong signal that such assassinations and other terrorist attacks will not be tolerated and that impunity cannot be allowed to persist."
8. Wide of news conference
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Daniel Bellemare, prosecutor, Special Tribunal for Lebanon:
"The creation of this Special Tribunal for Lebanon is the result of a tragedy - the killing of a former Prime-minister and of other 22 persons. By the very nature of its mandate, the STL is the first international anti-terrorist tribunal. The creation of tribunal was a political decision. Its operation, however, is and must remain above politics, governed by an impartial and principled approach based on the rule of law."
10. Wide of news conference as Bellemare returns to seat
11. Mid of media
12. Wide of news conference
13. Close of Bellemare leaving podium and shaking hands with other people on stage
An international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the slaying of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri opened on Sunday in Leidschendam, the Netherlands, with a moment's silence and a pledge to impartially investigate the politically charged case.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Patricia O'Brien, the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, within the United Nations, said it was critical that the people of Lebanon saw the tribunal as an "independent and impartial institution."
She said its establishment was intended to send a "strong signal that such assassinations and other terrorist attacks will not be tolerated and that impunity cannot be allowed to persist."
Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said the tribunal was borne out of the tragedy of Hariri's murder and that of 22 other people.
Bellemare said by the very nature of its mandate, the STL was the first international anti-terrorist tribunal.
He said its creation was a political decision but its operation, however, "is and must remain above politics, governed by impartial and principal approach based on the rule of law."
Bellemare said he would continue his investigations without political interference and would call for Lebanese authorities to turn over four pro-Syrian generals who are suspects in the case.
Bellemare, a Canadian, said he could issue several indictments as a result of his wide-ranging investigation into the 14 February 2005 suicide bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others on a Beirut seaside street, but he would not say when.
The four generals led Lebanon's police, intelligence service and an elite army unit at the time of the assassination.
They are the only suspects in custody, though they have not been formally charged.
The new court has a wing ready to detain suspects in a Hague jail that already holds Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and former Liberian President Charles Taylor, among other international war crimes suspects.
In Lebanon, hundreds of Hariri supporters gathered near his tomb in downtown Beirut where they watched the opening session from two giant screens.
Earlier, dozens of anti-Syrian lawmakers laid wreaths on Hariri's tomb and those of his bodyguards and aides who were killed with him four years ago.
As prime minister, Hariri, a billionaire businessman, was credited with rebuilding downtown Beirut after the 1975-90 civil war, and with trying to limit Syria's influence.
Many in Lebanon believe Syria was behind the assassination but Damascus denies any involvement.
After the assassination, mass street protests in Lebanon and international pressure forced Syria to withdraw its troops from its neighbour after a 29-year presence.
The court was set up by the UN Security Council in 2007 and comprises seven foreign and four Lebanese judges who have yet to take office.
It is funded by Lebanon and UN member states and based in the Netherlands to ensure the safety of staff and an impartial trial.
It will use Lebanese law, but unlike Lebanese courts cannot impose the death penalty.
Unusually for an international tribunal, it can hold trials in absentia.