Hariri murder re-enactment to take place in France: source

4th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A re-enactment of the 2005 Beirut assassination of Lebanese ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri is to be staged in France later this month as part of a UN-backed probe into his murder, a source confirmed Saturday.

The exercise is to take place at a military base in southwestern France on September 28, said the source.

Le Figaro journalist Georges Malbrunot wrote in his blog that the re-enactment will happen under tight security at the base in Captieux, in the Gironde region, southwest France. It normally serves as an army firing range.

A French explosives expert working with the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon began work on the exercise in June, he added.

At the request of the Lebanese prosecutor's office, the tribunal is investigating the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Parts of the Beirut street that Hariri's convoy had taken and the surrounding buildings had been reconstructed for the exercise, Malbrunot reported.

Neither the French foreign ministry or the defence ministry was prepared to comment on the reports.

The Hariri murder triggered an international outcry and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April 2005 after a deployment of almost three decades.

The killing has been widely blamed on Syria, but Damascus has consistently denied involvement.

The Hague-based Hariri tribunal, set up by a UN Security Council resolution in 2007, is expected to issue an indictment towards the end of the year.

© 2010 AFP

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