[JURIST] Daniel Bellemare [Ya Libnan profile], the former Canadian federal prosecutor now heading the United Nations probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], asked the UN Security Council Tuesday to extend his investigative authority beyond its mandated June 15 expiration, saying the investigation was making progress but that no indictments would be issued soon. Bellemere, who took over as commissioner [UN press release] of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution; UN materials] in November succeeding Belgian Serge Brammertz and German Detlev Mehlis [JURIST news archives], asked the Security Council to give him the authority to continue the investigation while the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon [JURIST report], which will eventually take over the commission's work, is being established.
Late last month an IIIC spokesman asserted in a press briefing in conjunction with the release of the commission's latest report that a criminal network may have been responsible [JURIST report] for Hariri's murder. Last June, the Security Council expanded [JURIST report] the Hariri probe to include 17 other attempted or successful political assassinations in Lebanon. Reuters has more.