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Lebanon says initial UN talks on Hariri tribunal 'fruitful'

[JURIST] Lebanese government officials have called "fruitful" initial consultations [JURIST report] with visiting UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] on the establishment of an international tribunal for suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. A UN spokesperson also described the meetings constructive and positive [UN News Centre report]. Lebanon Justice Minister Charles Rizk is reported to have suggested either an international tribunal set up outside of Lebanon, or a Lebanon-located court of international judges. Government officials and observers appear to agree that a completely-internal Lebanese proceeding would be too controversial, especial as Syrian defendants could be involved. The UN is authorized to lend assistance to the Lebanese government in setting up a tribunal under UN Security Council Resolution 1644 [official PDF text]. This is the first of several planned trips by Michel to Lebanon. Reuters has more.

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