Annan receives report on assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Hariri

Detlev Mehlis (L) delivers report to Kofi Annan

20 October 2005 – The head of the United Nations inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri presented his report to Secretary-General Kofi Annan today, after an earlier mission found Lebanon's own investigation seriously flawed and Syria primarily responsible for the political tension preceding the murder.

The report by Detlev Mehlis, appointed by Mr. Annan in June to head the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), was transmitted to the Security Council.

Mr. Hariri's assassination in February in a bomb attack, which also killed 20 others, led to renewed calls for the withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence agents, who had been in Lebanon since the early stages of the country's 1975-1990 civil war. Syria withdrew its troops from its smaller neighbour in April.

Mr. Mehlis carried out intensive investigations in both Lebanon and Syria. Last month, he named the heads of Lebanese intelligence and security agencies as suspects.

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