Official wants more time in Hariri death probe

/ Source: The Associated Press

The head of the U.N. probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri requested Saturday that his mandate be extended a year.

The report from Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz's investigators also notes that Syria — which had been accused of obstructing the probe — has cooperated in some respects.

Brammertz was expected to brief the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday — a day before his commission's mandate expires.

The council will consider extending his mandate by six months, as it has done previously, or accede to the longer, one-year request.

"Such extension would provide a sense of continuity and stability, enables progressive operations and planning, and offers assurances to staff," the report said.

Hariri and 22 other people were killed Feb. 14, 2005, in a massive explosion in Beirut. Four top Lebanese generals — key figures in Syria's long domination of Lebanon — have been arrested and charged with playing a role in the killing.