Lebanese president opposes the Special tribunal proposal

06 November 2006 by -

A week after a UN proposal to create a Special Tribunal to try those responsible for the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [IJT-51-54], Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, who has close ties to Syria, a country whose leaders are suspected of being involved in the attack, publicly opposed, on 30 October, the establishment of such an international tribunal.

A week after a UN proposal to create a Special Tribunal to try those responsible for the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [IJT-51-54], Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, who has close ties to Syria, a country whose leaders are suspected of being involved in the attack, publicly opposed, on 30 October, the establishment of such an international tribunal. According to the AP, Lahoud, whose Presidential Guard chief is being held as part of the investigation, has stated that he has a constitutional prerogative to negotiate the terms of such a court's mandate. According to AFP, the statement stirred up a political storm in Beirut. "Someone who opposes this international tribunal must be trying to cover up the crime," affirmed Druze Chief Walid Jumblatt. According to the Lebanese Daily Star, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh asked, in a statement directed at the President, "when was a suspect allowed to choose the court before which he will stand and the identity of the judges who will prosecute him"? Even the pro-Damascus opposition has denounced Lahoud's "error", hoping to further weaken the government it would like to bring down.

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