Lebanon seeks extension of Hariri murder probe

The Lebanese government said Tuesday it would ask the UN Security Council to extended the mandate of a UN commission investigating last year's assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said. The commission's powers will expire in June unless renewed by Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Lebanese government decided to seek the extension during a special, four-hour Cabinet session. The Lebanese request came a week after Prime Minister Fouad Saniora visited New York and met with Annan to discuss the formation of an international court to try suspects in a massive truck bomb that killed Hariri and 20 other people in Beirut on Feb. 14. 2005. Chief investigator Serge Brammertz has been in charge since January when he took over from German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis. Several interim reports by the commission have blamed Syria for involvement in the murder.