Lebanon, Syria deny findings of Hariri report

Friday 21 October 2005 17.03
Rafik Hariri  - Assasinated in February
Rafik Hariri - Assasinated in February

Lebanon has joined Syria in denying information in a UN report which links both countries to the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik al-Hariri.

The report says a suspect in the Beirut car bombing in which Hariri and 20 others died called Lebanon's President, Emile Lahoud, minutes before the attack.

Mr Lahoud's office says the claim is untrue and is part of a campaign against him.

Syria said the report was politically biased and said it was far from the truth.

The report, prepared by German investigator Detlev Mehlis, was presented to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last night.

It followed a preliminary UN inquiry into the February attack headed by a garda team led by Deputy Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald.