Dutch gov't close to agreeing to host Hariri court

The Dutch government is setting conditions before agreeing to host the trial of suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. A key condition is that another country volunteer in advance to imprison anyone convicted in the suicide truck bombing that killed Hariri in February 2005, said spokesman Bart Rijs. Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen told Dutch radio he expects the government to agree to a request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month that the Netherlands host the court. But Verhagen "expects some practical matters to be arranged first," Rijs said. "We insist that people ... convicted by the tribunal would not be detained after their conviction in the Netherlands but in another country."