'Lebanese PM will tell UN to stop Hariri tribunal'

December 22, 2010 11:38

Panel expected to indict members of Hizbullah for 2005 assassination loses backing, funding of Saad Hariri, Lebanese paper reports.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

saad hariri 311. (photo credit:AP)

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri will ask the UN tribunal probing the assassination of his father Rafik Hariri to stop its investigation and leave the country, Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar reported on Wednesday.

Hariri added that he would resist any indictments handed down by the tribunal, saying "I have sacrificed a lot and cannot sacrifice more."

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Khamenei: Any Hariri findings by int'l tribunal invalid
Hariri assassination indictment coming very soon

Tension over the tribunal has paralyzed Lebanon in recent weeks amid speculation prosecutor Daniel Bellemare will indict members of Hizbullah for the 2005 assassination.

Earlier this month, Special Tribunal for Lebanon registrar Herman von Hebel said the case would see its first indictment very soon.

The indictment could remain sealed even after it is confirmed, if the court believes that would make arresting suspects easier, Von Hebel said.

Half of the tribunal's budget comes from Lebanon's government and Hizbullah has said it may try to block funding, arguing that the court is unconstitutional because Lebanon's Cabinet approved it in 2006 after the resignation of five Shiite ministers. Hizbullah and its allies say the government at the time was no longer legitimate because the constitution requires that "all sects should be justly represented in the Cabinet."

Von Hebel said that Lebanon failing to pay its half of the budget "would be a serious challenge."
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