UN inquiry into al-Hariri death begins

A top German prosecutor appointed by the United Nations to head an inquiry into the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri has arrived in Beirut to start his work.

    Detlev Mehlis (R) has three months to complete his probe

    Detlev Mehlis, 55, senior public prosecutor in the office of the attorney-general in Berlin, was named by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to head the international inquiry earlier this month.

    "I'm very glad to be here even if it is because of an incomprehensible tragedy, not only for you but for everyone in the civilised world," Mehlis said after arriving on Thursday.

    Al-Hariri's assassination on 14 February led to massive demonstrations in Lebanon and calls for Syrian troops to leave the country, which they did last month.

    The German prosecutor has been given a three-month renewable deadline to come to a conclusion.

    Investigators have already submitted a report casting suspicions on the roles of Syria and the Lebanese security services in connection with al-Hariri's death.

    Al-Hariri's son Saad, a candidate in Lebanon's forthcoming parliamentary election, said earlier this month he expects "many people in Lebanon to ask for political asylum with the arrival of an international investigator".

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.