Mehlis certain Syria behind Hariri assassination

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 December 2005, CAIRO - Detlev Mehlis, outgoing head of the U.N. probe into the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, said he was certain that Syria was behind the incident, according to an interview published Saturday by the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Asked by the Pan-Arab daily, "Do you believe unequivocally that Syria was behind Hariri's assassination?" Mehlis responded, "Yes." The paper followed up with the question, "Do you mean by that the Syrian government?" to which Mehlis replie

19 December 2005

CAIRO - Detlev Mehlis, outgoing head of the U.N. probe into the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, said he was certain that Syria was behind the incident, according to an interview published Saturday by the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

Asked by the Pan-Arab daily, "Do you believe unequivocally that Syria was behind Hariri's assassination?" Mehlis responded, "Yes."

The paper followed up with the question, "Do you mean by that the Syrian government?" to which Mehlis replied, "That is to say, the Syrian authorities."

But when he was asked how high up within the Syrian government responsibility for Hariri's assassination extends, the German prosecutor responded, "That is a matter that would involve conjecture, so I'm unable to comment on it."

The interview was done in New York where Mehlis had last week turned over to the U.N. Security Council his second report in the probe into the February assassination.

The council Friday voted to extend the inquiry by six months. Mehlis said that the identities of the 19 suspects in the incident would only be revealed when the investigation was complete.

"I believe that we must not give any suspected party any hint about where the investigation is going, what we know or what we intend to do," he said explaining the blackout on that information. He added that to do so "could harm the investigation".

Mehlis, whose mandate to head the probe officially ended December 15, reiterated to the paper that he was leaving the inquiry owing to personal reasons. A new head has not been appointed.

DPA

Subject: German news

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