Lawmaker in al-Hariri probe released
A former Lebanese lawmaker who was one of five people questioned in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, has been released.
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2005 07:40 GMT
Nasser Qandil surrendered for questioning on Tuesday
A former Lebanese lawmaker who was one of five people questioned in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, has been released.

Nasser Qandil, a staunch defender of Syria's influence in Lebanon who surrendered on Tuesday at the request of UN investigators probing the 14 February killing, was released at 1.30am on Wednesday but refused to comment on the probe.

"I don't want to talk about this issue," Qandil said. "The information I gave [the investigators] belongs to the probe.

"I will only say that the cheap political and media exploitation is being done by some Lebanese parties and the [UN]commission has nothing to do with it," the former legislator said.

He was apparently referring to anti-Syrian groups who hailed the detention of former security chiefs for questioning in al-Hariri's killing.

The United Nations on Tuesday named Qandil and four pro-Syrian generals as suspects in the massive Beirut bombing that killed al-Hariri and 20 others.

The detentions were the first major break in the crime that transformed Lebanon.

Generals detained

German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis
(L) is leading the UN investigation

Many Lebanese opposed to Syria's control over its smaller neighbour blamed Damascus and its Lebanese allies for the assassination. Both have denied the claims.

The Lebanese government, acting at the request of the international body, detained three of the former Lebanese generals for questioning on Tuesday.

Major-General Jamil Sayyed, the former chief of General Security; Major-General Ali Hajj, the former director-general of the Internal Security Forces and Brigadier-General Raymond Azar, the former director-general of military intelligence, were detained at their homes.

A fourth, Presidential Guards Brigade commander Brigadier-General Mustafa Hamdan, surrendered for interrogation.

Qandil, who was in Syria when police went to his Beirut house, later returned by car and was escorted by two police vehicles from the Lebanese border to the capital.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
join our mailing list