Let STL work, Clinton tells Beirut

Oct. 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Efforts to tamper with a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 slaying of a former Lebanese prime minister won't be tolerated, Washington said.

Beirut is bracing for an indictment from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon possibly by the end of the year. The tribunal is looking into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a massive bombing in Beirut.

Damascus and Hezbollah are accused of playing a role in the slaying. Hezbollah said during the summer it had evidence to suggest Israel had a hand in the plot and Lebanese leaders recently let Damascus off the hook.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a phone conversation with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said Washington wants to tribunal process to go on "without interference," adding that any effort to "to discredit, hinder, or delay the tribunal's work should not be tolerated," the U.S. State Department said.

Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, jailed for four years in connection to the 2005 assassination, said he believes Saad Hariri, the current prime minister and son of Rafik Hariri, paid witnesses to testify against him.

The STL said in September that Sayyed could have "limited" access "to certain materials in the Hariri case."

Hezbollah accuses the tribunal of politicizing the case.

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