Hariri court to decide on Lebanese generals' detention



THE HAGUE - A UN special court will decide Wednesday whether to release or keep in detention four Lebanese generals being held over the assassination of Lebanon's ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.
Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare handed his recommendation to a pre-trial judge on Monday, but his decision will not be made public until the tribunal issues a ruling on Wednesday, the court said in a statement.
The court ruling will be broadcast live on Lebanese television and in an Internet webcast "in keeping with the STL's commitment to equal access," said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.



Hariri court to decide on Lebanese generals' detention
"This hearing will be used to announce the judge's decision," said the prosecutor's spokeswoman, Radhia Achouri. The hearing starts at 1200 GMT.
The four generals are being held by Lebanese authorities.
The generals, who have not been charged, are the former head of the presidential guard, Mustafa Hamdan, security services director Jamil Sayyed, domestic security chief Ali Hajj and military intelligence chief Raymond Azar.
The tribunal's rules stipulate that the suspects and their lawyers be allowed to address the court via videoconference if the judge decides to keep them in jail.
On April 8 the STL, which began work on March 1 and is based in The Hague, said that Lebanon had supplied a list of those detained over Hariri's assassination to the tribunal charged with trying the suspects.
But a Lebanese investigating judge earlier this month lifted arrest warrants against the four generals jailed since 2005 in connection with the killing.
However, the judge also ordered that the four remain in jail pending a decision by the STL on their fate.
The huge February 14 bomb blast on the Beirut seafront in 2005 killed Hariri and 22 others, stirring a political crisis and leading to the withdrawal of Syrian troops in Lebanon after a 29-year presence.
A UN investigative commission has said there was evidence that Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were linked to Hariri's killing. Damascus has consistently denied any involvement.
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Tuesday, April 28th 2009
AFP
           


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