New chief of UN Hariri investigation meets Lebanese leaders

The new chief of a UN commission investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri met Saturday with top Lebanese leaders in preparation for taking up the job early next year. Daniel Bellemare, a former Canadian prosecutor, was appointed last month by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to replace outgoing Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz as head of the commission probing Hariri's slaying in a massive truck bombing. Bellemare, accompanied by Brammertz, met first with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the state-run National News Agency reported. The speaker is allied with the opposition, which is led by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah. The two later met with Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, whose Western-backed government has been locked in a fierce power struggle with the opposition for over a year.