Lives endangered by CBC report on Hariri killing: prosecutor

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A Canadian report implicating Hezbollah in the assassination of Lebanon's ex-premier Rafiq Hariri could endanger certain lives, the prosecutor of a UN-backed court into the 2005 killing said Tuesday.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a documentary Monday citing unidentified sources saying UN investigators had evidence that "points overwhelmingly" to the involvement of members of the Shiite militant group.

"The most serious impact of the CBC reports is that their broadcast may put people's lives in jeopardy," the prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, said in a statement.

He was "extremely disappointed" by the broadcast, he said.

The Hague-based tribunal was set up in the aftermath of a massive seaside bombing that killed Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.

Hezbollah has said it would not accept the indictment of its members in connection with the assassination and warned of repercussions, raising fears in Lebanon of sectarian conflict.

The report came "at a time when the Office of the Prosecutor is working flat out to ensure that a draft indictment is submitted to the pre-trial judge for confirmation in the near future," Bellemare said.

He said he could not comment on issues related to the investigation.

"This decision is based on considerations of utmost concern for the integrity of the investigation and the safety of victims, witnesses, suspects and staff," he said.

The CBC report also said Lebanon's head of police intelligence was also possibly involved in the murder, which was dismissed Tuesday by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a son of Rafiq Hariri.

© 2010 AFP

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