Arab lawyers call for support for Hariri tribunal

Legal professionals meet to discuss the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as court prepares to publish the first indictment naming suspects.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 1, 2011 14:55
1 minute read.
The site of Rafiq Hariri's assassination [file]

Hariri assassination 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Arab lawyers have called on Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world to embrace the UN-backed tribunal set up to prosecute the assassins of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Lawyers from the Arab world are meeting to discuss the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as the court prepares to publish the first indictment — expected within a few weeks — naming suspects in the 2005 truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

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Mohammed Ayat, a senior legal advisor to the prosecutor of the Rwanda Tribunal, told Tuesday's conference the Arab world "cannot be a simple observer" in international efforts to prosecute atrocities.

There are fears that Hizbullah will block the tribunal's work after its candidate, Najib Mikati, was named Lebanon's new prime minister.

However Last week, the Iranian-backed group denied having place any demands on the billionaire businessman it chose to become prime minister of Lebanon.



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Hizbullah and its allies toppled Lebanon's Western-backed government two weeks ago and secured enough support in parliament to name Mikati as their pick for prime minister.

"We did not give a list of conditions to Prime Minister Mikati," the head of Hizbullah 's 12-member bloc in parliament said. "What we asked for is a national partnership and a national salvation government in which everyone cooperates for the interest of the country."


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