Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said Tuesday that three former Lebanese security chiefs and the commander of the Presidential Guards are suspects in the U.N. investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The prime minister confirmed that the three former security chiefs had been detained for questioning earlier Tuesday and that the Guards commander had been summoned to appear before the U.N. probe, reports USA Today.
The sources said the three men were brought in for more questioning by Mehlis's team but no charges had yet been filed against them.
They said Mustafa Hamdan, chief of the Republican Guard and the only remaining pro-Syrian security official still in his post after parliamentary elections produced an anti-Syrian majority, was also being questioned by U.N. investigators.
Mehlis hinted last month at a Hamdan role in the cover-up of the killing. The U.N. probe had questioned Hamdan, a close aide to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, in June.
Police also raided the home of pro-Syrian former member of parliament Nassir Qandil but did not find him. Family sources said Qandil was in Damascus.
The killing of Hariri, which many in Lebanon blamed on Syria, brought mass anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut. Damascus denied its involvement but bowed to world pressure and pulled out its 14,000 troops from the country in April.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Sunday Damascus would fully cooperate in the Hariri murder investigation after Mehlis criticised Syria of not cooperating with the inquiry.
The three arrested former officers were in their posts when Hariri was killed. They were blamed by allies of Hariri for negligence and a role in the attempted cover-up of the murder, informs Reuters.
After the incident with the shootdown of the Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Russia will supply an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria