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UN submits new Hariri tribunal draft to Lebanon

[JURIST] The United Nations inquiry commission investigating the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] Friday delivered a revised draft proposal to the Lebanese government on the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspects in the case. The New York Times reported Saturday that the draft suggests that the UN secretary-general, along with the Lebanese government and a selection panel, appoint a tribunal composed of both Lebanese and foreign judges. An earlier October 30 draft excluding Lebanon's participation in appointing judges was met with objections [JURIST report] from Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official profile]. Friday's draft leaves out a controversial provision for crimes against humanity charges, though it does not resolve questions about the trial's location or about whether implicated Lebanese officials will be granted head-of-state immunity.

Previous reports by the commission [UN materials] implicated Syrian officials [JURIST report] in the assassination, in which an explosion on the Beirut waterfront killed Hariri and 22 others. The UN is authorized to help Lebanon establish a tribunal under UN Security Council Resolution 1644 [text]. The Lebanese government will meet later this month to decide whether to submit the proposal to parliament to be drafted into law. Reuters has more.

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