[JURIST] The current Mideast conflict [JURIST news archive] has halted the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [UN materials] probe into the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], Beirut's Daily Star newspaper reports Friday. A source told the paper that Belgian Serge Brammertz [official profile], deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and current head of the Hariri investigation succeeding German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis [JURIST news archive], left Lebanon with most of his staff on the second day of the conflict, though some staff members have remained and may continue to work. According to the source, Brammertz's exit was an attempt to avoid any loss of evidence due to the violence.
The UN Security Council voted last month to extend the mandate [press release] of the UN commission probing the Hariri assassination for an additional year, until mid-June 2007. From Beirut, the Daily Star has more.