UN legal official and Lebanese judges confer on international court in Hariri case

1 March 2006

The senior United Nations legal official has held three days of talks at United Nations Headquarters in New York with a Lebanese Government delegation on the establishment of a tribunal of an international character to try those charged with the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and others.

“The meetings were substantive and detailed and were conducted in a positive and open manner,” A UN spokesman said of the talks between Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel and Judges Ralph Riachi and Choukry Sader of Lebanon.

The meetings followed a visit Mr. Michel made to Lebanon last month in accordance with Security Council resolution 1644, acknowledging the Lebanese Government’s request that those eventually charged with involvement be tried by a tribunal of an international character.

The UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) set up to probe Mr. Hariri's assassination, in which 22 other people were also killed when his car was blown up in February last year, has said evidence points to both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in the murder and has called for greater Syrian cooperation with the inquiry.

“Both Mr. Michel and his Lebanese interlocutors believe that the discussions significantly advanced the mutual understanding of the international assistance needed to bring those responsible for Mr. Hariri’s assassination to justice before a tribunal of an international character,” the spokesman said.


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