UN Hariri commission to investigate Gemayel assassination

UN Hariri commission to investigate Gemayel assassination

[JURIST] The UN Security Council Wednesday voted unanimously to approve a request from Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora for the UN commission probing the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] to also investigate Tuesday's murder of anti-Syrian Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel [BBC report]. US UN Ambassador John Bolton urged the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [Security Council Resolution 1595 text; materials] chaired by former Belgian federal prosecutor Serge Brammertz [UN News report] to move quickly and gather evidence while it is still fresh. Gemayal was killed in Beirut when gunmen opened fire on his car.

The assassination came in the wake of a controversial Lebanese cabinet vote [JURIST report] to approve the creation of an international tribunal to hear cases arising out of the Hariri assassination, in which Syrian involvement is suspected [JURIST report]. Pro-Syrian Lebanese President Emile Lahoud disavowed the vote [JURIST report] saying it was taken with the support of an insufficient number of ministers, but the Security Council nonetheless endorsed the establishment of the tribunal [JURIST report] late Tuesday in the immediate aftermath of the Gemayel murder. Reuters has more.