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UN secures first-year funding for Hariri tribunal

[JURIST] The UN has raised sufficient funds to cover the first-year costs of an international tribunal with the mandate of investigating and trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel [official profile] said Thursday. Michel said that the UN has so far received a total of $60.3 million from the international donor community, including over $1 million from each member of the recently established Tribunal Management Committee [press release] and "very substantial" contributions from several Middle Eastern countries. The tribunal, which was unilaterally established [JURIST report] by the UN Security Council last May and is to be hosted by the Netherlands [JURIST report], is expected to cost $50 million for start-up and first year operations. The United States pledged last September to donate $5 million [JURIST report] to the tribunal.

Although Lebanese authorities have detained eight people in connection with the assassination, neither the tribunal nor the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution; UN materials], the agency spearheading the Hariri investigation, have yet to name any suspects. Reuters has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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