New warrants for Lebanese security chiefs

Sept. 3, 2005 at 1:40 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Lebanon issued new warrants detaining three top former security chiefs and a current official in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Security sources said attorney-general Elias Eid decided to detain former head of public security Jamil al-Sayed, former chief of internal security Ali al-Haj, former military intelligence chief Raymond Azar and current head of the presidential guards Mustafa Hamdan.

The new warrants came Saturday after the four, who held the top security positions in Lebanon while it was under Syrian control, were interrogated in connection with the Feb. 14 assassination of Hariri, who was killed in a massive explosion in Beirut.

Their initial arrests for questioning last week came upon the request of a U.N.-appointed investigation team charged with probing the assassination.

Hariri's killing prompted a massive anti-Syrian movement that largely contributed to the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in late April and was followed by legislative elections that brought the opposition to power.

If charged and convicted of involvement in Hariri's assassination, the men could face prison or the death penalty.

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