Hours after the killing of Lebanese minister Pierre Gemayel, the UN Security Council approved plans for a special international court to try those suspected of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. Speaking on behalf of the 15 members, the Peruvian ambassador described Gemayel as a symbol of freedom and political independence. He added any attempt to destabilize Lebanon through political assassination was to be deplored.
The decision will allow plans for the tribunal to be submitted to the Lebanese government for final approval. Beirut has been told it must pay for 49 percent of the cost of the court. The US Ambassador John Bolton said Gemayel’s murder is the latest in a string of killings of anti-Syrian figures to have taken place since Rafik Al-Hariri’s murder. Many have blamed Syria for his death in a suicide truck bombing in 2005. Damascus has denied any involvement.