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Lebanon cabinet sends Hariri tribunal plan to parliament

[JURIST] The Lebanese cabinet Tuesday sent the country's National Assembly a draft plan to establish a UN-supported international tribunal to try suspects accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] in February 2005. The cabinet approved the draft [JURIST report] late last month despite resignations by all six of its pro-Syrian members. On Saturday, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official website] formally refused to endorse the plan [JURIST report], calling on the cabinet to take up the proposal again "when there is a legitimate and constitutional government." Under the Lebanese constitution [text] parliament can receive draft measures even if they have not already obtained presidential approval. Pro-Syrian parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri has suggested, however, that that body will not be convened until the ongoing crisis in the country has abated. AFP has more.

Meanwhile Tuesday Serge Brammertz, the Belgian prosecutor heading the UN independent inquiry commission into the Hariri assassination [materials], said that his probe had turned up evidence of "significant links" between that attack and 14 other attacks in Lebanon that appear to have been politically motivated. The commission has already said that Syrian involvement is suspected [JURIST report] in the Hariri murder. Late last month the UN Security Council approved an extension of the commission's mandate [JURIST report] to cover the November 21 assassination of anti-Syrian Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. Reuters has more.

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