Lebanon presses UN on Hariri investigation

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's government on Tuesday approved a bill asking the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of an international team investigating the assassination of former premier, Rafik Hariri, for one year, beginning June 15. The bill, introduced by Justice Minister Charles Rizk, must now be forwarded to the Security Council for endorsement. The local LBC TV channel said that Rizk proposed the bill this early because he feared disputes between pro- and anti-government parties in Lebanon could delay efforts to set up an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the Hariri slaying. Hariri and 22 other people were killed in a massive truck-bomb explosion in central Beirut on February 14, 2005. The UN team has been investigating the incident since it was established in October the same year.