Vol. 5 Num 571 Tue. January 03, 2006  

UN Hariri probe wants to quiz Syrian president

The UN commission investigating the assassination of a prominent Lebanese politician has asked to interview Syria's president and foreign minister, the panel's spokeswoman said Monday.

Nasra Hassan also said investigators want to interview former Syrian Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam "as soon as possible."

Khaddam alleged in a TV interview broadcast Friday that Syrian President Bashar Assad had threatened former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri several months before Hariri was assassinated in a Feb. 14 truck bombing.

The commission has reported that several people whom Hariri spoke to after he met Assad in August 2004 said Hariri told them the Syrian leader had threatened him over his opposition to Syrian plans to extend the term of Lebanon's pro-Syrian president.