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Syrian president to refuse meeting with UN Hariri probe, official says

[JURIST] An advisor to the Syrian Ministry of Information said Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad [BBC profile] will refuse a request [JURIST report] for an interview made Monday by the UN commission [UN materials] investigating the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. A member of parliament said that such requests violate the Syrian constitution, which provides sovereign immunity to the President in connection with all investigations. Arabic News has local coverage.

Also on Tuesday, Syrian Brigadier General and former head of military intelligence Rustom Ghazaleh, who has been implicated in Hariri's death, said in an interview that he was willing to resign from his position if necessary. Ghazaleh maintained his innocence to accusations made last week by former Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam [Wikipedia profile], including allegations that Ghazaleh stole over $35 million [Aljazeera report] from Lebanon's now-defunct Al-Madina Bank. Ghazaleh acknowledged, however, that the current political situation, fueled by Khaddam's incendiary interview [JURIST report] last Friday, may require him to step down. AFP has more.

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