1. Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, lawyer for Hussein Hassan Oneissi approaching podium
2. SOUNDBITE (French) Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, lawyer for Hussein Hassan Oneissi (who changed his name to Hassan Issa):
"This decision does not surprise us, because all the conclusions that have been taken up by the Chamber are those which have been our analysis for years and I believe that the Lebanese media will be able to bear witness to it since we have always said against certain newspapers that the telecom (argument) used by the prosecutor could not allow to conclude the location of such or such person in such place. It is on this presupposition that the prosecutor of the International Tribunal based his prosecution. It was obvious to us from the start that this file did not hold. And indeed, the conclusion is there today. It is a real disaster for the prosecutor but a deserved disaster because these accusations against Mr. Hussen Hassan should never have taken place. An indictment should never have been approved and this trial should not have taken place. "
3. Mid of court exterior
4. SOUNDBITE (French) Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, lawyer for Hussein Hassan Oneissi (who changed his name to Hassan Issa):
"Today, we are obviously very happy for Mr. Oneissi, who is cleared of any suspicion of the prosecutor's accusation, but at the same time we are, particularly me, I am very sad that a billion dollars was spent on such a void file and on evidence that was obviously mediocre from the start."
The lawyer for one of the acquitted suspects in the case of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri said he and his team were happy with the verdict.
A UN-backed tribunal on Tuesday convicted one member of the Hezbollah militant group and acquitted three others of involvement Hariri's assassination.
Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse said the verdict on Tuesday confirmed their long held belief that his client Hassan Oneissi had not been involved in the act.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Salim Ayyash was guilty as a co-conspirator of five charges linked to his involvement in the suicide truck bombing.
Hariri and 21 others were killed and 226 were wounded in a huge blast outside a seaside hotel in Beirut on February 14, 2005.
Initially, five suspects were tried, all of them Hezbollah members.
Charges against one of the group’s top military commanders, Mustafa Badreddine, were dropped after he was killed in Syria in 2016.
The court said Tuesday it could not prove that Badreddine was the mastermind behind the assassination.
The remaining suspects were Ayyash, also known as Abu Salim; Assad Sabra, Hassan Oneissi, who changed his name to Hassan Issa and Hassan Habib Merhi.
They were charged with offenses including conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.
Prosecutors based their case largely on data from mobile phones allegedly used by the plotters to plan and execute the bombing.
Without the phone data there would be no case against the four suspects, Presiding Judge David Re said, as he began explaining the complex investigation into the telecom networks prosecutors say the suspects used.
Re said that the telecom evidence in the case was “almost entirely circumstantial.”
However, another judge, Janet Nosworthy, later said that judges had ruled that four different networks of mobile phones “were interconnected and coordinated with each other, and operated as covert networks at the relevant times.”
During the trial, which started in 2014 and spanned 415 days of hearings, the tribunal in Leidschendam, near The Hague, heard evidence from 297 witnesses.