BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 6 (UPI) -- The panel investigating the assassination that shook Lebanon says its report may be delayed but denies political pressure is holding up charges.
Italian judge Antonio Cassese, president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, wrote in his second annual report Saturday, "Through credible, fair and unbiased action, the tribunal thus aims at contributing to reconciliation in Lebanon," The Daily Star of Beirut reports.
The Netherlands-based tribunal was set up in 2007 to probe the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The indictment is still secret while under review, but it is widely expected to name members of Hezbollah, which now has a dominant role in the Lebanese government.
Cassese said the panel is "impartial" and rejected the choice of "peace versus justice" as "fallacious."
He called 2010-11 a "momentous year" for the tribunal, pointing to Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare's submission of the first indictment to pretrial Judge Daniel Fransen Jan. 17 as "highly significant."
But "the review of the indictment may take a little longer than we had originally hoped," he wrote.
He added that the indictment would be only "a first step," and the investigation of other culprits will continue.