'International tribunal needed for Hariri probe'

March 22, 2007 06:54

The chief investigator probing the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri backed the creation of an international tribunal to prosecute the alleged perpetrators, saying without a court it is difficult to justify the investigation. Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz told reporters Wednesday after briefing the Security Council on his latest report that a tribunal would be "the next logical step" because the Independent International Investigation Commission he heads is a fact-finding body - not a judicial institution that can issue indictments and conduct prosecutions. Without a tribunal, he said, "it would be complicated or difficult to justify the existence of the commission." The establishment of a tribunal is being held up because the speaker of Lebanon's parliament, Nabih Berri, refuses to convene a session on the current crisis between the pro-government, anti-Syrian camp which wants a tribunal and the pro-Syrian, Hizbullah-led opposition which has demanded modifications to the proposal for the court.

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