File - German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Thursday, May 26, 2005. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The former head of the U.N. investigation into Rafik Hariri's assassination said he still believes the Syrian regime was behind the killing of Lebanon's five-time prime minister.Mehlis expressed support for the tribunal, but said it had to put the perpetrators of the attack behind bars and shed light on the motive behind Hariri's killing.The STL has indicted five members of Hezbollah in connection with Hariri's assassination.Under Mehlis, the UNIIIC said that converging evidence pointed to both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in Hariri's killing.Mehlis' reports at the time when he headed the commission pointed to evidence of Syrian involvement in the killing, set against the political tensions between Hariri and the regime of President Bashar Assad.Mehlis expressed satisfaction that eight years after the commission began its work, the case was finally being brought to trial.But he said the evidence that his team uncovered of alleged Syrian involvement, and which showed that the assassination was not a "purely Lebanese affair," was the original impetus for establishing an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the crime.
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