UN calls for 'mixed' int'l tribunal in Hariri case
The UN has called for the establishment of a "mixed" international tribunal to prosecute those behind the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.
A mixed tribunal, with both Lebanese and international participation, would best serve justice in the terrorist bombing that killed the country's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a preliminary report to the Security Council released ON Thursday.
"A purely national tribunal would not be able to effectively fulfill the task of trying those accused of the crime," Annan said in the report that recounts key issues raised in consultations but reserves recommendations to a further date.
"It became clear from our consultations with the Lebanese authorities that the creation of an exclusively international tribunal would remove Lebanese responsibility for seeing justice done regarding a crime that primarily and significantly affected Lebanon," Annan said of the Feb 14, 2005 bombing which killed Hariri and 22 others.
Following a request from the Lebanese government and a Council mandate, discussions with the President, Prime Minister and National Assembly speaker were conducted in Beirut by a team led by UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel on January 26 and 27. Two senior judges from Lebanon later visited UN Headquarters.
Annan said the discussions resulted in a common understanding it would be most appropriate to establish the tribunal through an agreement concluded between Lebanon and the UN. If that understanding is acceptable to the Security Council, he suggested that it adopt a resolution to commence those negotiations.