BEIRUT: Syria’s presence in Lebanon and the debate it inspired laid the groundwork for former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, a Lebanese MP testified before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Monday.

“These are the roots of the conflict which, in my opinion, ended with the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri,” Marwan Hamade, the MP and former minister who survived an assassination attempt in 2004, told the U.N.-backed court.