The United Nations released a report late Thursday that implicated Syria in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Following are several important excerpts.
_ "It is the Commissions view that the assassination of 14 February 2005 was carried out by a group with an extensive organization and considerable resources and capabilities. The crime had been prepared over the course of several months. For this purpose, the timing and location of Mr. Rafik Hariri's movements had been monitored and the itineraries of his convoy recorded in detail."
_ "Given the infiltration of Lebanese institutions and society by the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services working in tandem, it would be difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such a complex assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge.
_ "Another witness approached the Commission and stated that he had met with General Hamdan (the Lebanese commander of the Presidential Guards Brigade at the time of the assassination) in the middle of October 2004. General Hamdan talked very negatively about Mr. Hariri accusing him of being pro-Israeli. General Hamdan ended the conversation by stating: "We are going to send him on a trip, bye, bye Hariri". After the assassination, the witness was strongly reminded not to discuss this conversation with anyone."
_ "The early investigation showed a pattern that no one claimed they had the slightest clue that something was going on around Mr. Hariri that could threaten his life. The efforts undertaken by the Commission during a limited period of time have come to a diametrically opposite conclusion."
_ "While the Syrian authorities, after initial hesitation, have cooperated to a limited degree with the Commission, several interviewees tried to mislead the investigation by giving false or inaccurate statements. The letter addressed to the Commission by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic proved to contain false information."
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