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UN Hariri assassination investigation making progress, commissioner says

UN Hariri assassination investigation making progress, commissioner says

UNIIIC Commissioner Serge Brammertz
The head of the United Nations Independent International Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) probing the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri today reported progress in identifying persons suspected of involvement in the attack.

“The consolidation of the Commission’s findings across several areas of the Hariri case and in some other cases has helped identify a number of persons who may have been involved in some aspects of the crime,” UNIIC Commissioner Serge Brammertz told an open meeting of the Security Council.

“A number of commonalities across cases have also been brought to light,” he said.

Mr. Brammertz also warned the Council that the security situation in Lebanon has deteriorated, and stressed that the security of witnesses and people who cooperate with the Commission needs to be guaranteed. “This remains a priority for the Commission and will also have to be addressed by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in a timely manner,” he said.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Mr. Brammertz said the Commission is ready to hand over its work to a Tribunal when it begins to function. He added that more work needs to be done to complete the investigation before indictments can be made.

In addition to looking into the assassination of Mr. Hariri, who died in a massive car bombing in Beirut in February 2005 that took the lives of 22 other people, the UNIIIC is probing 17 other cases.