Lebanon PM: Accusing Syria in Hariri killing was a mistake

In major turnaround, Hariri tells Saudi newspaper, "This was a political accusation, and this political accusation has ended."

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
September 6, 2010 14:29
1 minute read.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

saad hariri 311. (photo credit: AP)

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri said Monday that it was a mistake to accuse Syria of being behind the 2005 assassination of his father.

The statement was a major turnaround for Hariri, who for years has blamed Damascus for his father's death in a massive truck bombing in Beirut.

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Syria directly dominated Lebanon for nearly 30 years and kept tens of thousands of troops on its soil. The killing of Hariri's father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, sparked anti-Syrian protests and led to Syria's withdrawal.

Hariri told the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published Monday that "during a period of time we accused Syria of being behind the assassination ... This was a political accusation, and this political accusation has ended."

Hariri's comments came a week after UN prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said that there would be no rush to indict suspects in the international probe into the killing of the former Lebanese prime minister.

"Let me state clearly that the indictment has not been drafted yet," Bellemare was quoted as saying by the website NOW Lebanon. "I will only file the indictment when I am satisfied there is enough evidence."


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