There is a warning that Lebanon might have to wait weeks or even months before it learns the results of a UN-backed inquiry into the murder of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.
A secret draft indictment has been handed over to a pre-trial judge, who will now decide what action to take.
Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper in Britain, told euronews:
“The ironic thing, of course, is that after the murder of Hariri everyone in Lebanon said we want to know who’s responsible. But it’s taken the UN so long. And of course that is long enough for all the various parties – America, Israel, Iran, Syria – to find where they stand. Now virtually no one in Lebanon wants to know who killed Hariri because they fear the ramifications.”
Last week the militant Shi’ite Hezbollah group and its allies toppled the government of Saad al-Hariri, the son of the murdered prime minister.
Hezbollah, which is widely expected to be named in the indictments, has unsuccessfully tried to get Hariri to renounce the UN court.
One man on the streets of Beirut said: “The situation is dangerous and we should be united. All these indictments are not in our interest. We should be united and believe in Lebanon. God help us.”
Hezbollah has repeatedly denied any link to the murder of Rafik al-Hariri in a bomb attack in 2005.