The debate over the setting up of a court to try suspects involved in the killing of Lebanon’s former prime minister had deeply divided the UN Security Council. In the end 10 members voted for the Western- sponsored resolution but five – Russia, China, Qatar, Indonesia and South Africa – abstained.
The UK’s Ambassador to the UN, Emyr Jones Parry said; “This is not a capricious intervention, interference in the domestic political spheres of a sovereign state. It is a considered response by the council – properly taken – to request from the government of Lebanon for action to overcome a continued impasse in Lebanon’s internal procedures.”
Rafik al-Hariri died in 2005 along with 22 others in a car bombing . Many within the country believed Syria was implicated in the assassination, something which it firmly denies, but the subsequent outcry forced Damascus to withdraw its troops. There are currently eight suspects being held by the Lebanese authorities; four pro-Syrian generals, and four members of a Syrian-backed Sunni Muslim group. The ongoing UN investigation has not yet recommended who is to be indicted.