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Middle East
Hariri probe gets Hezbollah 'data'
Lebanese group says it handed over data that would implicate Israel in the 2005 killing.
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2010 19:29 GMT
Rafiq al-Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, was killed in a bomb blast in February 2005 [AFP]

Hezbollah says it handed over evidence to Lebanon's government that would implicate Israel in the murder of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Prime Minister.

A judicial source told the AFP news agency on Tuesday, that the data was handed over to a UN court probing the
February 2005 killing.

"Following a meeting Sunday night between Prime Minister Saad Hariri and [Hezbollah official] Hajj Hussein Khalil, and based on a request by the prime minister... Hezbollah official Wafiq Safa today gave Lebanese Prosecutor General Said Mirza the material unveiled by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Israel's role in the murder at a news  conference earlier this month", Hezbollah said in a statement.

According to AFP, the data was transferred to the Beirut office of Daniel Bellemare, the prosecutor of the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon .

Bellemare had called on Lebanese authorities last Wednesday to submit all material related to the murder in the possession of Hezbollah.

The request came after the Hezbollah released several undated clips of aerial views of various areas in Lebanon which he alleged were intercepted from unmanned Israeli surveillance drones.

The clips included footage of the site of the Hariri assassination in west Beirut, canned several years before the murder.

Increasing pressure

Hezbollah is facing increasing pressure amid speculation that several of its members are set to be implicated by the UN tribunal in the killing of Hariri.

But Nasrallah has warned against implicating his Shiite movement in the Hariri assassination, slamming the UN-backed tribunal as an  "Israeli project."

The murder triggered an international outcry and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April 2005 after a deployment of almost three decades.

The killing has been widely blamed on Syria, but Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement.

The Hague-based tribunal was set up by a UN Security Council  resolution in 2007 to find and try suspects in the assassination of  Hariri. There are currently no suspects in custody.

Source:
AFP
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