Lebanon president: PM Hariri letter to UN illegal

Lebanon's pro-Syrian president said Tuesday that his rival, the prime minister, violated the constitution by sending to the United Nations an approval of an international tribunal to prosecute the suspected killers of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The tribunal has become a major point of contention in Lebanon's power struggle between the anti-Syrian government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who support the creation of the UN-backed court, and pro-Syrian factions, including the Shi'ite Hizbullah movement. Last week, Saniora sent a signed copy of the agreement for creating the court to the United Nations. The UN must now sign it and return it to Lebanon for ratification. Lahoud said the contents of Saniora's letter were "misleading and sidestepped reality and the rules of the constitution, conventions and national unity," according to a copy of his letter to Ban, provided to the AP by Lahoud's office.