Mehlis returns to Beirut after talks in Spain

22nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2005, BEIRUT - The head of the United Nations investigation into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri returned early Tuesday to Beirut, a Lebanese security source said.

22 November 2005

BEIRUT - The head of the United Nations investigation into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri returned early Tuesday to Beirut, a Lebanese security source said.

The source said German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis arrived at dawn without saying where he came from.

Mehlis held talks last week in Barcelona, Spain, with the the Syrian foreign ministry's legal adviser Raudi Daudi in a bid to agree on a venue for the questioning of six Syrian officials about the February 14 bomb blast that killed Hariri.

Mehlis reportedly wants to interview the officials at the U.N. headquarters in Lebanon, but Syria has opposed a Lebanese venue.

Before Mehlis's meeting with Daudi, reports said the two would examine a Syrian proposal for the questioning to be carried out at the headquarters of a U.N. observer force in the Golan Heights.

Among the officials Mehlis wants to question are: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, head of Syrian military intelligence; Bahjat Suleiman, former head of domestic intelligence; Rustom Ghazaleh, the former head of military intelligence in Lebanon; and Ghazaleh's deputy Jameh Jameh.

The U.N. Security Council in October adopted a resolution giving the U.N. investigating commission the authority to decide on where and how to question Syrian officials.

Earlier this month, Assad rejected international accusations of Syrian complicity in Hariri's killing but gave assurances that Damascus would cooperate with the U.N. probe.

DPA

Subject: German news

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