Syria cooperating to prove innocence in Hariri murder


Richard Moore

The assassination had Mossad written all over it.


Original source URL:

Syria cooperating to prove innocence in Hariri murder: FM
Wed Sep 27, 10:41 AM ET

Syria, which has denied ordering the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafiq 
Hariri, is cooperating with a UN probe of the killing in order to prove its 
innocence, a top official has said.

Foreign Minister Walid Muallem added Wednesday that Syria itself has become a 
victim of the crime because of the deterioration in its relations with 
neighboring Lebanon, a country it dominated for decades.

Speaking on national television from New York, Muallem said "Syria has 
cooperated totally with the international magistrate and commits itself to do so
as long as (the probe) remains professional."

He was speaking a day after a UN report cited evidence that a suicide bomber 
detonated up to 1.8 tonnes of explosives that killed Hariri and 22 others on the
Beirut waterfront in February 2005.

The report, by chief UN investigator Serge Brammertz, also noted further Syrian 
cooperation with the probe.

"The cooperation that the commission has received from the Syrian Arab Republic 
has remained generally satisfactory and the commission continues to require its 
full support in providing information and facilitating interviews with 
individuals located on Syrian territory," it said.

A report by Brammertz's German predecessor, Detlev Mehlis, had implicated senior
officials from Syria.

And the Brammertz report expanded on links previously found between the Hariri 
slaying and some 14 other attacks against anti-Syrian Lebanese figures between 
October 2004 and December 2005.

Commenting on the probe, Muallem said "we have an interest in the truth coming 
to light over this crime, of which we are the victims," referring to soured 
relations with Lebanon and political maneuvering by anti-Syrian forces.

Saying he was "sure Syria is innocent," he added that "no one in the world acts 
against his own interests."

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