Lebanon PM fully behind UN tribunal on Hariri murder

Lebanon`s PM Saad Hariri has renewed his backing for a UN-backed investigation into the murder of his father, despite warnings by Hezbollah the probe could plunge the country into crisis.

Last Updated: Nov 03, 2010, 16:34 PM IST

Beirut: Lebanon`s Prime Minister Saad Hariri
has renewed his backing for a UN-backed investigation into the
murder of his father, despite warnings by Hezbollah the probe
could plunge the country into crisis.

"The work of the tribunal is ongoing and there are many
investigators in Lebanon, and they are doing their own work,"
Hariri told the BBC in an interview yesterday during an
official visit to Britain.

Asked whether he gave 100 per cent backing to the
tribunal set up after former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was
assassinated in 2005, Hariri replied, "Yes."

Hariri confirmed he would not cut links with
investigators despite demands to that effect from Hezbollah,
the powerful Lebanese Shiite militant group.

Tensions have been rising in Beirut amid unconfirmed
reports the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is set to
indict members of Hezbollah in connection with Hariri`s
murder.

The Iranian and Syrian backed movement has made clear it
would not accept such an outcome.

Sheikh Naim Qassem, the Shiite militant group`s
second-in-command, this week warned any charges against
Hezbollah members would be "equivalent to lighting the fuse,
to igniting the wick for an explosion."

In his interview with a news agency, Saad Hariri insisted
dialogue was the best way out of the current standoff with
Hezbollah and downplayed the risk of unrest.

"I think what is dangerous is not to (hold) dialogue
about the issues that are really difficult in the country, and
I think this is one of the difficult issues in Lebanon," the
premier said.

PTI