Arrest warrants issued in Hariri probe

DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- More than 30 arrest warrants were issued in Syria in connection with the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a lawyer said.

Hariri was killed in a massive bombing in downtown Beirut in 2005. Lebanon is bracing for indictments from the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, with possible accusations filed against Hezbollah.


Hezbollah and Damascus are believed to have played a role in the plot. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the slain prime minister's son, absolved Damascus recently. Hezbollah, for its part, claims the plot is part of a broad Israeli conspiracy.

Hezbollah's al-Manar news network reports that a lawyer for Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed led an effort to prompt Damascus to issue 33 arrest warrants against Lebanese and other Arab nationals in connection with the Hariri plot.

Sayyed was jailed for four years in connection with the Hariri plot. He said he believes the current Lebanese prime minister paid witnesses to testify against him.

One of those sought by Syrian authorities is Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor who led the investigation into the 2005 assassination.


Mehlis pointed the finger at the Syrian regime and in particular its military intelligence service when he led the investigation. Four Lebanese generals imprisoned as suspects on his orders in August 2005 were released last year on grounds there was no evidence to hold them.

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