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Lebanon's Former PM Critical of Handling of Hariri Probe


Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, right, the son of slain former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, prays at his father's grave in downtown Beirut, 09 Nov 2009

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, right, the son of slain former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, prays at his father's grave in downtown Beirut, 09 Nov 2009

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says if his government were still in power, it would have made efforts to search for the Hezbollah suspects indicted by a U.N.-backed tribunal in the investigation of his father's death.

Hariri spoke Tuesday in Paris during a television interview with Lebanon's MTV. He also described current Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati as a "Hezbollah representative."

The former prime minister said Lebanon could suffer if it does not cooperate with the tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hariri and 22 other people were killed in a Beirut truck bombing. The tribunal has issued arrest warrants for four Hezbollah members indicted in the case. But the militant group has denied involvement.

Earlier Tuesday, the tribunal offered victims of the attack a chance to participate in the trial and help in seeking compensation. It issued a statement that said people who suffered "physical, mental or material harm" from the attack could apply to take part in legal proceedings and seek compensation in Lebanese courts.

Saad Hariri left Lebanon shortly after Hezbollah and its allies forced the collapse of his pro-Western government in January. He said he has voluntarily chosen to stay away in order to allow the new government to take shape, but that he will return at some point.

In June, he said the arrest warrants that were issued for his father's assassination represent a "historic moment" for Lebanon. He urged the current government to cooperate with the tribunal.

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