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Lebanon: Security Council backs Annan's actions on Hariri assassination probe

16 January 2006 Members of the United Nations Security Council have voiced their support for recent actions taken by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to advance the investigation into the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed last February in a blast that also took the lives of 22 others.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, the Council’s current President, Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga of Tanzania, voiced appreciation for the Secretary-General’s decision to name former Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz to head the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) probing the murder.

“At the same time we want to express our appreciation to the outgoing investigator, Mr. [Detlev] Mehlis, who did an outstanding job,” Ambassador Mahiga added.

Recalling that Mr. Annan has decided to send a mission to Lebanon to examine the possibility of establishing a judicial tribunal as well as extending the investigation to other assassinations in the country, the Council President said, “We think this is [a] very timely, very decisive decision of the Secretary-General.

Last month, the 15-member Council extended UNIIIC’s mandate for at least another six months and authorized it to give technical assistance to investigations into other terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

The Council took that action by a unanimously adopted resolution which followed on the Commission’s latest report offering new evidence pointing to Syria's involvement in Mr. Hariri's murder and Syrian procrastination and efforts to hinder the probe.

The resolution acknowledged the Lebanese Government's request that those eventually charged be tried by a tribunal of an international character. It requested the Secretary-General to help the Lebanon identify the nature and scope of the international assistance needed for this purpose.


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