UN investigator in probe of Lebanese ex-premier's death arrives in Beirut

26 May 2005

The head of the United Nations commission established to investigate the fatal bombing attack on former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri arrived in Beirut today.

Upon his arrival, Detlev Mehlis, Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission on the assassination of Mr. Hariri, immediately visited the scene of the 14 February attack which killed the former Prime Minister and several others.

Prior to his departure from New York, Mr. Mehlis said that he was working with a small team that would review the evidence and information collected by previous panels. The team would later expand to include investigators from 25 to 40 countries.

According to the Security Council's 7 April resolution governing the work of the Commission, the unit would have to complete its work within three months of becoming operational but could get a three-month extension, if Secretary-General Kofi Annan thought it necessary.

Tomorrow, Commissioner Mehlis is scheduled to meet Lebanon's Ministers of Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs. Later in the day, he is expected to also meet Mr. Hariri's widow, Nazek.


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