The U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri says it's halting legal proceedings against a Hezbollah commander who was killed in Syria.

Mustafa Badreddine was among five Hezbollah members on trial in absentia at a court in the Netherlands over the massive bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others.

Badreddine was killed in Syria in May.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in a statement late Monday that "by majority, the Appeals Judges found that there was sufficient evidence presented before the Trial Chamber to prove the death" of Badreddine.

It added that the proceedings will be terminated and would be resumed should evidence that he is alive come up in the future.

Hezbollah has denied any role in Hariri's assassination.