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UN Hariri panel to probe killing of Lebanon MP

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] said Monday it has approved a request [letter, PDF] by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora [BBC profile] to aid his country in the investigation of the murder of anti-Syrian legislator Walid Eido [BBC report] last week. Eido, who was a member of the Lebanese Parliament, was killed last Wednesday when his car exploded at a beach in Beirut, also killing his son and at least six other people. Siniora had asked [letter, PDF] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for "technical assistance" from the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [UN materials], who submitted the request to the Council. This month's Council president, Belgium UN Ambassador Johan Verbeke [official profile], approved the request, asking the Commission to "extend appropriate technical assistance to the Lebanese authorities," and adding that the Council is "determined to continue to assist the Government of Lebanon in the search for the truth and to bring to justice perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of that terrorist attack and of other terrorist attacks and assassinations committed in Lebanon since October 2004."

The IIIC was established unanimously in 2005 [UN press release] to assist the Lebanese government in its investigation into the terrorist bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] in February of that same year. The commission was established after the UN found that the Lebanese-run investigation was seriously flawed. Eido's murder is the latest in a series of killings of Lebanese political leaders, including those of Hariri and cabinet member Pierre Gemayel [BBC report] last year. Eido's death came two weeks after the Council narrowly approved a resolution [JURIST report] to establish an ad hoc international tribunal to try suspects in the Hariri assassination. The IIIC is currently conducting 16 investigations. Reuters has more. The UN News Service has additional coverage.

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