UN approves tribunal for Hariri killing

The UN Security Council has approved a resolution calling for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute the suspects in the killing of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

The supporters of the slain Lebanese PM have welcomed the UN decision. Hundreds of Beirut residents have taken to the streets dancing and chanting pro-Hariri slogans.

The resolution gives the Lebanese Parliament until June 10 to form the tribunal itself. However, if fails to do so, the tribunal will be created outside Lebanon and will comprise a majority of international judges and prosecutor.

Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed by a massive truck bombing in Beirut in February of 2005.

Nevertheless, the resolution was criticised by Russia – one of the five members which abstained from the voting. 

According to Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, the resolution shouldn’t have been adopted under Chapter 7of the Charter of the United Nations, which deals only with international crimes against humanity.

“There is no justification for adopting this resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter , because only those tribunals – the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which deal with international crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, – have been adopted under Chapter 7. This is not the case of the tribunal which is supposed to take up the case of the assassination Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon,” Mr Churkin stated.