Sunday, April 27, 2008

Assad: "Read my lips: I'm not worried"

Hariri Probe Doesn't Worry Syria, President Tells Newspaper

DOHA, Qatar (AFP)--Syria isn't worried by the international tribunal investigation into the killing of Lebanon's former premier Rafiq Hariri, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published Sunday.
"This question does not concern us. Some people insist that this subject worries Syria... but this is not true," he was quoted by the Qatari daily Al- Watan as saying.
Damascus has been accused by the Lebanese anti-Syrian majority of ordering the killing of the millionaire businessman in a massive car bomb attack in Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005.
Assad also said that "France must clarify" the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a key Syrian witness into the Hariri probe, Mohammed Zuheir al- Saddiq, who vanished in March after leaving his home in a Paris suburb.
Saddiq, a former member of Syria's security services, had said that the pro- Syrian former president Emile Lahoud of Lebanon and Assad had ordered Hariri's assassination.
But Assad said he had "no information" about the witness and made it clear that Paris was aware of the circumstances regarding his disappearance.
"He disappeared in known, not mysterious, circumstances," he added.
Saddiq earlier told Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah that he was the target of three assassination attempts and that he would remain in hiding until an international tribunal opened to try Hariri's suspected killers.
A U.N. probe has implicated senior Syrian officials in assassination. Syria, which for three decades was the power broker in its smaller neighbor, has vehemently denied any involvement. (END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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