[JURIST] UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution] head Serge Brammertz [official profile] said in a report to the UN Security Council Thursday that the probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] has identified several suspects involved or with insider knowledge of the plot. Brammertz also said that the investigation has obtained information concerning the sale of the vehicle that contained the explosives, as well as the origins of subscriber identity modules [Wikipedia backgrounder] used in cellphones that tracked Hariri's movements. Brammertz, who is expected to brief the Security Council at New York on July 19, also cautioned that the deteriorating security situation in Lebanon has had "several negative effects" on the IIIC's ability to continue with the probe, which has been expanded [JURIST report] to include 17 other attempted or successful political assassinations in Lebanon.
In May, the UN Security Council unilaterally established [JURIST report] an ad hoc tribunal to continue the investigation and try suspects involved in the assassination. Brammertz is slated to replace Carla Del Ponte [official profile] as the next chief prosecutor [JURIST report] for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia when the mandate of the IIIC expires in December. Reuters has more. UN News Centre has additional coverage.