Security Council receives latest report of inquiry into Hariri assassination

Serge Brammertz

12 July 2007 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today sent to the Security Council the latest report of the independent commission charged with investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and many other killings in the Middle Eastern country.

UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters that the report of the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) provides information on its inquiries into the killing of Mr. Hariri – who died in a massive car bombing in Beirut in February 2005 that took the lives of 22 other people – and into 17 other cases.

Those other cases include the killing of the Lebanese lawmaker Walid Eido, who was killed with seven others last month in another explosion in Beirut.

IIIC head Serge Brammertz is expected to brief the Security Council on this report next Thursday at UN Headquarters in New York.

In April 2005 the Council set up the IIIC after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon’s own inquiry into the Hariri assassination was seriously flawed and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack.

Mr. Brammertz told the Council last September that evidence obtained so far suggests that a young, male suicide bomber, probably non-Lebanese, detonated up to 1,800 kilograms of explosives inside a van to assassinate Mr. Hariri.

Last month Mr. Ban also began taking steps and measures to formally establish a special tribunal of an “international character” to try the suspected killers of Mr. Hariri, and possibly those responsible for the subsequent assassinations in Lebanon as well.

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