[JURIST] The government of the Netherlands is close to reaching an agreement with the United Nations to host the ad hoc tribunal that will investigate and try suspects involved in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Bart Rijs said Thursday. Rijs added that Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen [official profile] would like to see a formal commitment by another state to imprison convicted defendants and settle other issues such as funding.
In July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally asked the Netherlands to host the tribunal [JURIST report], saying that The Hague had valuable experience in hosting international tribunals as it is the site of the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official websites]. The UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution; UN materials] is set to turn its investigation over to the tribunal after the IIIC's mandate expires in December. The tribunal, which was unilaterally established [JURIST report] by the UN Security Council in May, will be known as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. It will also investigate [JURIST report] and possibly try suspects in 17 other attempted and successful political assassinations in Lebanon. AP has more.