12 January 2006

Secretary-General Appoints Serge Brammertz of Belgium to Head Hariri Investigation

NEW YORK, 11 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General today sent a letter to the President of the Security Council informing the Council of his intention to appoint Serge Brammertz of Belgium as the Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  Mr. Brammertz succeeds Detlev Mehlis.

Mr. Brammertz is currently the Deputy Prosecutor for Investigations of the International Criminal Court.  Before his election to that position, he was the first Federal Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Belgium.

He will proceed to Beirut to take up his assignment as soon as is practicable.

The Secretary-General wishes to thank Mr. Mehlis for his excellent work in establishing the investigation and setting it on a firm and professional footing.  He reiterates his unwavering commitment to support the work of the Commission to fulfil its mandate to assist the Lebanese authorities to bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime.

In particular, the Secretary-General has taken steps to fulfil the mandate of Security Council resolution 1644 (2005) to help the Lebanese Government identify the nature and scope of the international assistance needed for those charged with the crime to be tried by a tribunal of an international character.  In near future, he will dispatch a mission to Lebanon for this purpose.  In addition, the Secretary-General will consult with Mr. Brammertz and the Lebanese authorities regarding the most effective manner of expanding the work of the Commission to assist the Lebanese authorities to investigate other terrorist attacks since 1 October 2004.

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