Kerry says Hariri tribunal 'independent,' in Lebanon visit

In Beirut visit intended to support investigation amid mounting tensions, US Senator says of the UN tribunal: "nobody has the power to change it."

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 8, 2010 17:52
John Kerry and Saad Hariri

John Kerry and Saad Hariri 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

 
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BEIRUT — US Senator John Kerry on Monday said nobody in Lebanon has the power to influence the international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri.

Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee visited Beirut on Monday as part of a broad diplomatic push to support the tribunal amid mounting tension in Lebanon.

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The UN tribunal has caused deep divisions within the country's government, which includes Hezbollah and its allies along with pro-Western blocs.

Many observers fear violence could break out if the court indicts Hizbullah members. The group said the tribunal is biased and has warned Lebanese against cooperating with it.

Kerry said Monday the tribunal is independent and nobody in Lebanon has the power to change it.

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