Syria issues arrest warrants concerning investigation into Hariri's killing

11:16, October 04, 2010      

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The Syrian judiciary issued arrest warrants on Sunday against 33 individuals said to have misled investigations into the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

The Fist Investigative Magistrate in Damascus issued the arrest warrants in the lawsuit filed by former head of the General Security apparatus in Lebanon Jamil al-Sayyed.

The arrest warrants were issued against judges, politicians, officers, journalists, and others including Detlev Mehlis, former head of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission into the Hariri case and his assistant Gerhard Lehmann, whom Sayyed accused of misleading the probe into the former prime minister's murder, said a statement issued by Sayyed's media office.

The Syrian judiciary has notified the Lebanese judiciary and the Interpol of the warrants.

Sayyed, along with another three top security chiefs, were detained in 2005 for alleged involvement in Hariri's killing and were released four years later in 2009 for lack of evidence.

Following his release, Sayyed waged a campaign against what he dubbed as "false witnesses" and those who stood behind them, filing a lawsuit before the Syrian judiciary.

The Hariri murder has been widely blamed on Syria and its ally armed Shiite group Hezbollah, but both constantly denied involvement.

Recent reports said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was expected to issue an indictment against "undisciplined" members of Hezbollah, a charge the group rejects. Hezbollah is calling for false witnesses to be put on trial.

Earlier last month, Rafic's son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, told the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat that he was wrong by accusing Syria of his father's murder, adding that the accusation was politically motivated, while admitting some witnesses have misled the probe.

Source: Xinhua


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