Assad relative named as suspect in Hariri murder
The UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri has reportedly named the brother in law of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as one of the main suspects. The suspect, Asef Shawkat, is Syria's military intelligence chief and considered the second most powerful man in Syria after Assad.
Shawkat is one of five men labeled as suspects in the case by chief UN investigator Detlev Mehlis, according to a report due to be published by the German magazine 'Stern.' Official findings regarding the case are due to be revealed by Mehlis in an interim report this Friday, media sources revealed.
Many Lebanese diplomats believe that Syrian officials will be found to have been involved in the February bombing in Beirut which killed Hariri and 20 others.
Assad, however, told reporters last week at CNN that his country was in no way involved in the death of Hariri.
The United States and France reportedly intend to introduce two UN resolutions next week against Syria in response to the case as well as interference in Lebanese affairs.
According to Western sources, Syria is also facing disapproval from prominent Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt for its involvement in the affair.
Four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals were also detained earlier this year for involvement in the bombing.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)