07/24/2007, 00.00
LEBANON - UN
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The UN asks Holland to host the special tribunal for Lebanon

The United Nations secretary general has asked Amsterdam it to go ahead in The Hague. According to diplomatic sources, it will take months to prepare.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – It is now probable that the International Tribunal to try those responsible for the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri will take place in The Hague, Holland.  In fact UN secretary general Ban KI-Moon has formally requested the Dutch government to take his request into consideration.

 

U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe told a press briefing on Monday that Ban earlier in the day sent a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende inviting him "to consider hosting the Special Tribunal" for Lebanon.” The secretary general hopes – she added - that the government of The Netherlands will give serious consideration to the request”.

 

Ban Ki-Moon telephoned Prime Minister Fouad Saniora on Sunday to inform him that the U.N. was seeking The Hague venue for the tribunal 

UN Diplomatic sources however maintain that the Tribunal will not be up and running for “a few months”.   

Rafic Hariri and 22 other people were killed in a massive truck bombing in Beirut in February 2005. The enquiry being carried out by a special UN commission has already individuated some of those responsible, but has named none, according to a progress report presented July 12th last by the Belgian Commission Chief Serge Brammertz. His German predecessor Detlev Mehlis, had indicated that some of those responsible belonged to the Syrian regime.

 

 

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