Image: Statue of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Hussein Malla  /  AP
A statue of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is seen next to the seafront road in Beirut, Lebanon, on Saturday.
updated 3/1/2009 4:21:36 PM ET 2009-03-01T21:21:36

An international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was opening its doors with a ceremony in a village outside The Hague.

Court prosecutor Daniel Bellemare of Canada said he expects to ask within weeks for Lebanon to transfer to the court four pro-Syrian generals who are suspects in the Feb. 14, 2005, suicide bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others in Beirut.

The court was set up by the U.N. Security Council and comprises both foreign and Lebanese judges. It is based in the Netherlands to ensure the safety of staff and an impartial trial.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Sunday's opening as a milestone in efforts to bring to justice those responsible for Hariri's killing.

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