France proposes resolution for Hariri tribunal

France circulated a UN Security Council draft resolution on Thursday that would ask Secretary-General Kofi Annan to start negotiations with Lebanon on creating a hybrid tribunal to prosecute suspects in the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister. The one-page draft was introduced two days after Annan backed the idea of a tribunal to ensure that justice is done in the Feb. 14, 2005 bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others. The event shook the nation and led to the departure of Syrian forces from Lebanon. The 15-member Security Council discussed the draft in a closed-door meeting. Diplomats said that while several nations had questions about details of the tribunal that have not been set, there was no major opposition to the resolution itself. In his report, Annan said a tribunal of both Lebanese and international jurists would work best. He said Lebanese authorities had emphasized their desire that Lebanese law be applied in the case, but Annan suggested that locating the court within Lebanon itself was likely to be too dangerous.