Da The Guardian del 17/03/2006
Originale su http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1732901,00.html

Assad pledges support for UN Hariri inquiry

di Brian Whitaker

Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, said last night he would meet a UN commission investigating the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Mr Assad said he and his vice-president would talk to the commission next month but it would not be an interrogation.

"In the meeting they can ask about anything. We expect them to ask about the political background between Syria and Lebanon," he said in an interview for World News Tonight on Sky News.

Mr Hariri died in a massive explosion on Beirut's seafront last year following a political rift with Damascus. His death has been widely blamed on Syria or its Lebanese allies.

Asked if Syria would hand over any of its officials for trial in Lebanon if they were formally accused, the president initially said: "They must be subjected to Syrian law," but then added that the question could be discussed "from a legal point of view". Failure to hand over suspects would almost certainly lead to a clash with the UN security council.

Meanwhile, a woman who is wanted for questioning in connection with the Hariri murder has been detained in Brazil after allegedly offering police $200,000 (£115,000) to let her go free. Rana Koleilat, 39, who holds a British passport, had earlier been held on fraud charges in her native Lebanon where she reportedly had her prison cell redecorated and had meals delivered from outside before eventually jumping bail and fleeing the country.

Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Brazil but the authorities in Beirut are trying to find a legal basis to demand her return.

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