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
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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