Security Council extends probe into Lebanon killings for further six months

Security Council extends probe into Lebanon killings for further six months

The Security Council today extended through the rest of this year the mandate of the independent probe into the February 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and a series of other recent killings in Lebanon.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also declared its readiness to terminate the mandate earlier if the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) reports that it has completed its work.

The Commission – whose mandate was set to expire on 15 June – is headed by Daniel Bellemare, a Canadian prosecutor who told the Council in April that the body needs more time to complete its investigations.

In his most recent report Mr. Bellemare said a criminal or terrorist network is responsible for the 2005 car bombing in downtown Beirut that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others.

The Commission is currently probing the links between members of the network and others outside the group, and what role the network has played in Lebanon’s other recent political killings.

Those accused of Mr. Hariri’s murder will be tried by the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon which is currently in its start-up phase.