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Detention of former security chiefs marks significant step towards serving justice

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

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Head of the Future Bloc in Parliament MP Saad Rafic Hariri welcomed the detention of former security chiefs in Beirut today and described their interrogation by UN investigators over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri as a significant step towards serving justice, by revealing the perpetrators behind the February 14 terrorist attack.

In an interview with Al-Araibyah satellite television channel from Paris, MP Hariri expressed full confidence in the UN investigation team and its chief, German prosecutor Mr. Detlev Mehlis. He said Mr. Mehlis has been working day and night to find out who killed the late Prime Minister.

MP Hariri told the Dubai-based channel that without doubt the detentions marked the beginning of the judicial process and stressed that the Lebanese and Arabs have been awaiting the results of the UN probe. He told Al-Arabiyah, five people were detained today and more could be taken into custody in the future. The most important thing, Mr. Saad added, is to find the person who murdered the late Premier and who also attempted through the assassination to “kill Lebanon, and Arabism in Lebanon” but failed.

Addressing the Lebanese, MP Hariri, said the unity that they portrayed after insisting on knowing the whole truth behind the assassination, was cemented on March 14, when more than a million Lebanese rallied in downtown Beirut demanding justice. He highlighted Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s statement in Beirut earlier today that the country is in good shape. Responding to claims that Lebanon is gripped with security troubles, Mr. Saad told Al-Arabiyah that while there are some problems, he has confidence in Prime Minister Siniora and the Interior and Defense Ministers who have been exerting all their efforts to safeguard security.

Asked if his presence in France is due to a specific and direct threat, MP Hariri said there have been many threats, and made clear that the person who killed his later father is capable of killing him and the entire family. Mr. Saad added that he is “not on vacation” in Paris, and that he has been working from the French capital and carrying out all the necessary contacts to help the government implement its policy program and move Lebanon forward.