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UN extends investigations into Lebanese assassinations

UN extends investigations into Lebanese assassinationsThe United Nations Security Council approved an international independent investigation into the assassination of Walid Eido, an anti-Syrian lawmaker, in Lebanon.  Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora requested the UN's International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) to assist Lebanese officials into the investigation of Eido's murder.  Security Council President, Ambassador Johan C. Verbeke of Belgium, stated in a letter to Council members that the UNIIIC would "extend appropriate technical assistance to the Lebanese authorities in the investigation."

The UNIIIC was established in April 2005 to investigate the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik al-Hariri.  Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General, Ban ki-Moon, announced procedures had begun to initiate a special tribunal to try suspects in al-Hariri's assassination.  Mr. Eido, who was killed along with his son, two bodyguards, and six bysanders, was a close friend of al-Hariri.

A UN team was sent to Lebanon last week to investigate the bomb site left from Eido's assassination.  The UNIIIC chief investigator, Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz, has been in Lebanon examining the details of al-Hariri's murder and providing technical assistance to authorities in 16 other cases, including the assassination of Lebanese Cabinet minister, Pierre Gemayel.

Mr. Brammertz recently resigned his post as deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.  He was widely expected to succeed Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.  Mr. Ban's recent extension of the UNIIIC and the term of Mr. Brammertz presumably excludes that appointment, however.

The special tribunal to investigate the al-Hariri assassination was enacted on June 10th pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1757.  

Reuters/AP/UN News Agency



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors