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Hariri tribunal final draft proposal circulated

[JURIST] UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel [official profile] has submitted a final draft to the Lebanese government and the UN Security Council of a plans to establish an international tribunal [JURIST report] to investigate the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], according to an unnamed source, who noted that the Security Council could approve the draft by the end of the week. The details of the draft plan are largely unknown, though Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora [BBC profile] was quoted Monday as saying that the draft was final and that it dropped controversial "crimes against humanity" charges. Michel has previously said that any tribunal will likely be held outside of Lebanon [JURIST report], and that factors such as impartiality and safety of witnesses and judges will determine its location.

The UN Security Council voted in June to extend the mandate [press release; JURIST report] of the UN commission [UN materials] probing the Hariri assassination for an additional year, until mid-June 2007. Previous probe reports have implicated Syrian officials in the assassination [JURIST report], where a February 14, 2005 explosion on the Beirut waterfront killed the then-PM along with 22 others. AFP has more.

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