Syria lawmakers demand treason charges, ex-VP expelled from party after Hariri comments Joshua Pantesco at 4:35 PM ET
[JURIST] One day after the Syrian parliament demanded [Reuters report] that former Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam [Wikipedia profile] be tried for treason and corruption, the country's ruling Baath party decided Sunday to expel [statement] Khaddam from the party after he accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [BBC profile] of threatening the life of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] during a meeting in Damascus two months before Hariri was killed by a bomb in Beirut. In what Baath party officials called "slander which violates the principles of the nation," Khaddam alleged during an interview last week that Bashar had said "I will destroy anyone who tries to hinder our decisions" during a discussion about Hariri. The Baath party called Khaddam an opportunist trying to salvage the damaged reputation of the UN investigation into the killing. Outgoing investigation head Detlev Mehlis announced [JURIST report] last month that he was "convinced" that the Syrian government was responsible for the assassination after releasing a report [JURIST report] that included new evidence implicating the security forces of Syria and Lebanon in the plot to kill Hariri. AFP has more.
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