[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] said Wednesday that he is concerned about the status of ongoing discussions between the UN and Lebanon on the proposed UN-supported international tribunal [JURIST news archive] to try suspects accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. Ban said [transcript]:
It is important that the Security Council has decided to establish a special tribunal. The United Nations has concluded agreement with the Lebanese Government. It is a source of concern for me, as Secretary-General, that we are not being able to establish a special tribunal, as was mandated by the Security Council. At the same time, I was encouraged by the willingness of the Lebanese Government to work together for the establishment of a special tribunal, including President [Emile] Lahoud and Speaker of the Parliament [Nabih] Berri. I will discuss again this matter with the Lebanese leaders when I meet them in Paris.The Lebanese cabinet approved a draft plan [JURIST report] for the tribunal in November despite the resignation of all six pro-Syrian members. In December, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official profile] formally refused to endorse the document [JURIST report], calling on the cabinet to take up the proposal again "when there is a legitimate and constitutional government."
The measure has been approved by the UN but requires backing by both Lahoud and the Lebanese parliament before the tribunal can said to have been formally accepted. AP has more.