Criminal network responsible for Hariri assassination, says UN probe

28 March 2008

Evidence shows that a criminal network was responsible for the massive car bombing that killed the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in Beirut in February 2005, the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) says in a new report to the Security Council.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has submitted the latest report of the IIIC, which is headed by Daniel Bellemare, to the 15 Council members.

In that report the IIIC – which was set up by the Council – said it has evidence that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of Mr. Hariri and that this same network, or parts of it, is linked to some of the other cases that fall within the mandate of the commission.

Mr. Ban and the UN are taking steps to set up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to try those responsible for the death of Mr. Hariri and earlier this week Council members welcomed a report that showed the Secretary-General is making significant progress.

A headquarters agreement has been signed with the Netherlands, a prosecutor and a registrar has been appointed, and a management committee has been established. Financial contributions and pledges have also come from several UN Member States.

Once it is formally established, it will be up to the Special Tribunal to determine whether other political killings in Lebanon since October 2004 were connected to the assassination of Mr. Hariri and could therefore be dealt with by the tribunal.


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