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Magazine report accuses UN's Hariri probe of foot-dragging

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dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday December 6, 2006

Berlin- A German news magazine report to be published Thursday accuses the Belgian United Nations special investigator into the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri of slowing down the probe. The weekly Stern magazine also alleges that the former UN investigator into Hariri's killing, Berlin state prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, is convinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad was involved in the killing.

Mehlis gave his Belgian successor, Serge Brammertz, confidential witness testimony and other evidence on Assad's role when he stood down in January 2006, said Stern, citing a secret UN document is says it obtained.

Stern says Mehlis urged Brammertz to summon Assad for questioning as a potential perpetrator, said the magazine in its report, a copy of which was obtained Wednesday, a day ahead of publication.

But Brammertz has instead merely produced three mainly technical reports over the past year and in a fourth report due next week is not expected to provide any new information on who gave the order to kill Hariri.

The Lebanese premier and a further 22 people were killed in a massive bomb attack on his motorcade in Beirut on February 14, 2005.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency