Ghazi Kanaan killed himself this morning.
Here’s the official statement: “Interior Minister Brig Gen Ghazi Kanaan committed suicide in his office before noon”.
Hours earlier he contacted a Lebanese radio station ‘The Vocie of Lebanon’, to make a final statement. He said: “I want to make clear that our relation with our brothers in Lebanon was based on love and mutual respect… We have served Lebanon’s interest with honour and honesty”.
He was questioned last month by UN investigators into his role in the murder of Rafiq Al-Hariri. The investigators were invited into Damascus, and allowed to interview Kanaan – it’s not clear how much Kanaan himself was willing to be interviewed.
Kanaan controlled Lebanon on behalf of Syria for decades. His suicide comes less than two weeks before the UN report into the Hariri murder is published. Syria was widely expected to present Kanaan to an international tribunal if he was implicated.