A United Nations special prosecutor has pledged to find the truth
behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Daniel Bellemare issued a statement Friday saying his team will do everything possible to ensure that justice is served.
is the chief prosecutor of a special U.N. tribunal that will begin
trying the case in The Hague, Netherlands, on Sunday.
special court is tasked with investigating the massive truck bombing
that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others in Beirut on February 14, 2005.
Its mandate can be expanded to related crimes only under strict
conditions and within a set timeframe.
U.S. President Barack Obama called Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Thursday to express his support for the tribunal.
rights group Amnesty International on Friday said the tribunal is a
positive step, but its focus is too narrow to gain public confidence.
Amnesty said other measures are needed to "address the grave human
rights abuses of the past, as well as those that continue in the
On Thursday, Lebanon's justice minister said he is
confident the tribunal will determine who killed Mr. Hariri. Ibrahim
Najjar also said Lebanon will fully cooperate with the special court.
Lebanese blame Syria for the attack. Syria has denied responsibility.
But pressure from Lebanon and the United Nations led Syria to pull its
14,000 troops out of Lebanon less than three months after the
On Wednesday, a Lebanese judge ordered the
release on bail of three suspects held in connection with the
assassination. The judge did not give any reasons for releasing the
In a separate ruling on Friday, the same
judge, Saqr Saqr, denied an appeal to release four other suspects, all
pro-Syrian Lebanese generals.