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ICC deputy prosecutor tipped to replace Mehlis on Hariri probe

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], a Belgian prosecutor who is currently the deputy prosecutor for the International Criminal Court [official website] at The Hague, appears set to replace German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis [UN appointment announcement] as head of the UN inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri [JURIST news archive; UN materials], according to UN officials and Lebanese press reports. Although the UN Security Council extended the Hariri probe [JURIST report; UN News report] Thursday for a further six months after its initial reports implicated Syria in the February 2005 bombing which killed Hariri and some 20 others, Mehlis had already indicated that he would step aside after the expiration of his original term. Brammertz's appointment is not yet certain, however, as his nomination may run into objections both from the US, which has traditionally opposed the ICC [US State Department Q/A] and has sought to exempt its own personnel from its jurisdiction, and from African states having a stake in ongoing ICC investigations into crimes in Uganda and the Congo that might be disrupted by a senior staff change. The Washington Post has more.

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