UN investigators looking into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri are focussing on a suspect in Turkey.
The man’s name is Louai Sakka, a Syrian who worked closely with Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. It was Zarqawi followers who have been behind bombings in Syria in recent years, and they are also blamed by Lebanese and Syrian officials for smuggling weapons from Lebanon into Syria.
Sakka has been given life in prison in Turkey for masterminding attacks in Istanbul which killed 63 people in 2003.
In 2005, Sakka’s lawyer said that unidentified men tried to force Sakka to testify against Syria in relation to the Hariri killing. He was threatened with death if he didn’t comply.
We have seen similar death threats from Hariri thugs before. In 2006, they allegedly threatened to kill a key witness in the UN investigation unless he testified against Syria. That witness was later discredited.
UN chief investigator Serge Brammertz has praised Syria’s full-cooperation, but hit out at a number of other countries for obstructing him.