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Lebanon Issues New Arrest Warrants in Hariri Probe

03 September 2005

A Lebanese judge has issued formal arrest warrants against four generals suspected of involvement in the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The judge's decision, after two days of interrogations, will allow Lebanese authorities to continue holding the generals, and paves the way for a trial on U.N. allegations they were involved in planning the assassination. The generals led the country's security services when Mr. Hariri was killed and were among the most powerful men in Lebanon because of their close alliance with Syria.

Earlier Saturday, Syria invited the chief U.N. investigator, Detlev Mehlis, to visit Damascus Monday or Tuesday, following criticism from Mr. Mehlis that Syria was not cooperating with the investigation. Many in Lebanon say Syria was behind Mr. Hariri's assassination, a charge Damascus denies.

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