Interpol issues warrants for Hariri killing suspects

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2011 2:49 PM
Interpol issues warrants for Hariri killing suspects

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Interpol has circulated arrest warrants for four suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri, U.N.-backed tribunal said on Sunday.

"The tribunal has requested Interpol to notify all states of the arrest warrants, this comes as a request from STL (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare," STL spokesman Marten Youssed said.

"He has provided Interpol with the necessary information to issue red notices against each of the accused who remain anonymous because the contents of the indictments remains confidential," he said.

Lebanon received the indictments and four arrest warrants from the tribunal last month.

It has not named the suspects but Lebanese officials said the accused are members of the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah, including Mustafa Badreddine, a senior member of the movement and brother-in-law of slain Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyeh, and three other members of the group.

Hezbollah, which accuses the tribunal of being a U.S. and Israeli tool, denies any link to the 2005 assassination and its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said this month that authorities will never arrest the indicted members of his group.

The assassination on February 14, 2005 plunged Lebanon into a series of political crises, killings and bombings which led to sectarian clashes in May 2008, dragging the country back to the brink of civil war.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on nations to support the tribunal, a hybrid international and Lebanese court established under Chapter Seven of the U.N. charter, granting the U.N. wide powers to address violations.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Jon Hemming)