A Lebanese newspaper said Thursday U.N. chief investigator Detlev Mehlis would submit his resignation from leading the probe into Rafik Hariri's murder when he presents his December 15 report to the Security Council.
The Beirut-based As Safir daily quoted unnamed diplomatic sources as saying Mehlis had already informed U.N. head Kofi Annan about his wish to go back to his office as a Berlin prosecutor. The report added there were German political reasons behind Mehlis' departure wish as the new German government fears a backlash on its interests around the Middle East due to the probe. However, the probe is expected to be continued without Mehlis.
Meanwhile, Mehlis was quoted as saying his investigation into had not been undermined by a Syrian witness who dropped his testimony. The German accused Damascus of using the witness, Hosam Taher Hosam, as a "propaganda tool."
"I‘m used to this kind of propaganda," Mehlis was quoted as saying. "I‘ve spent 40 years in Germany and we used to see such things in former eastern European countries."