Syrian MPs have unanimously voted for the country’s former vice-president to be tried for treason.
That followed a TV interview in which the exiled politician implicated Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in a political assassination. Abdel Halim Khaddam was Syria’s vice-president for over 20 years before he quit in June and moved to Paris. There, in an interview with Al-Arabiya, he said Assad had threatened the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri just months before Hariri was murdered in a massive bomb attack in Beirut. He said he had been told by Assad that he had “delivered some very, very harsh words to Hariri – something like ‘I will crush anyone who tries to disobey us’.” Khaddam stopped short of direct accusations, but said if the Syrian intelligence services had killed Hariri, it could not have happened without Assad’s knowledge. A UN investigation has implicated senior Syrian officials in the assassination, but Syria denies any involvement.