ban ki moon.
(photo credit: AP)
UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged all parties in Lebanon and Syria not to interfere in the work of the UN tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
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The UN chief's message was clearly directed at Lebanon's militant group Hizbullah and its ally Syria, which have been mounting a campaign to try to undermine the tribunal by raising doubts about its neutrality.
Ban told reporters Wednesday that the United Nations supports the tribunal's work and said Lebanese and regional parties should not prejudge the outcome.
This week, Syria's judiciary issued arrest warrants
against 33 people for allegedly misleading the investigation, including the first UN chief investigator, Detlev Mehlis.
It has long been rumored that members of Hizbullah would be indicted by
the tribunal for involvement in the 2005 assassination of Hariri.
Last month, the organization refused to allow its members
to be interviewed by the tribunal.
Hizbullah announced that it would use its position in the government to
try to block Lebanon's funding for the UN court investigating the
Hizbullah has a key role in the country's fragile national unity
government, which is led by the slain leader's son — Prime Minister Saad
Hariri — who heads a Western-backed coalition.