Lebanon to deal 'responsibly' with Hariri indictment: PM

AFP , Thursday 30 Jun 2011

Lebanon's PM Najib Mikati says government deal "responsibly and realistically" with indictment, reminding that it carries accusations not verdicts

Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut, Thursday, (Reuters).

Lebanon's Hezbollah-dominated government will deal "responsibly and realistically" with a UN indictment issued Thursday in the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said.

"Today we are facing a new reality that we must be aware of ... and deal with responsibly and realistically ... bearing in mind that these are accusations and not verdicts," Mikati told a press conference.

"All suspects are innocent until proven guilty."

His comments came shortly after the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, based near The Hague, issued an indictment and arrest warrants in the 2005 Hariri assassination.

A judicial official told AFP that four Lebanese suspects are named in the indictment.

Local media said at least two of them were members of the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah, which has warned it would defend itself if accused.

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