Hezbollah for Arab probe of Hariri slaying

March 17, 2005 at 6:03 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 17 (UPI) -- Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah has called for an Arab investigation team to probe into the Feb. 14 slaying of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said late Wednesday that he opposed an international investigation into the assassination "because one cannot trust the Security Council or any institution controlled by the U.S. and reeling under its whims."

The multi-sectarian Lebanese opposition as well as Hariri's family and followers have been pressing for an international probe.

Nasrallah also called for the trial of Lebanese security chiefs on charges of negligence, instead of dismissing them as demanded by the opposition.

The chief of the pro-Syrian group also said that if Syria and the Syrian-backed Lebanese regime proved to be involved in Hariri's assassination "Hezbollah will be the first to confront Syria and the Lebanese authorities."

He was responding to opposition claims that Syria and the Lebanese authorities were behind the slaying.

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