Syria says accusations of Lebanese PM's killing "politically motivated"

Syria's ambassador to Britain on Tuesday slammed a report that implicated his country in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri as biased and politically motivated. German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, whose report found evidence of Syrian involvement in Hariri's February death, should have considered other possible perpetrators, said Ambassador Sami Khiyami.

"I believe that Syria deserves to be defended," Khiyami said at the Chatham House foreign affairs think tank. "The report completely obscures the possibility of a third party exploiting the tense political environment in Lebanon to commit a hideous crime."

He said Mehlis has "completely forgotten" Syria's positive contributions to Lebanon, according to the AP.

He said the investigator should not have published details of this report until it is finished, suggesting the early release was politically motivated.

"Why did he throw suspicions and allegations?" Khiyami asked. "The U.S. and probably France needed an early allegation... to continue the process of pressure against Syria."

With the Mehlis report under discussion at the United Nations, Khiyami said he now expected "more and more pressures on Syria to change its regional policy and join the cheering team behind the pro-American clan in the region."

On photo: German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis.


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