DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17,7-10. Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here immediately and take your place at table'? Would he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"
Reports & Opinions
The dilemma of democracy in Lebanon.By Bilal Y. Saab and Elie D. Al-Chaer. November 13/07
News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for November 13/07
Ban Appoints a Canadian to Replace Brammertz in Hariri Probe-Naharnet
Kouchner Criticizes Nasrallah, Backs Candidate List by Sfeir-Naharnet
French FM in fresh bid to break Lebanon deadlock.AFP
Nasrallah's Speech Draws More Irate Reactions from March-Naharnet
Kouchner in Lebanon As France Determined to Help End Presidential Crisis-Naharnet
Sfeir: if a president is not elected the nation risks annihilation.AsiaNews
Lebanon ruling coalition blasts Hezbollah over presidency.AFP
Bush demands Syria stay out of Lebanon vote.AFP
France's FM back in Lebanon to try to break presidential election ...International Herald Tribune
Israeli soldier launches missile near Lebanese border by mistake.Xinhua
Beirut prepares to host new mediation missions-Daily Star
March 14 officials accuse Nasrallah of 'killing' consensus-Daily Star
Sfeir says Church needs more money to support range of philanthropic work-Daily Star
Canadian tapped to take over from Brammertz-Daily Star
General Security worker accused of murder-Daily Star
US to donate three trainer jets - report. AFP
Turkey pledges good offices to help arrange release of Israeli troops captured by Hizbullah-Daily Star
Zaki rules out conflict involving refugee camps-Daily Star
US group: Iraqis face wide-raging problems in Mideast, detentions ...International Herald Tribune
French UN peacekeeper killed in Lebanon accident.Africasia
Mazuz backs Lebanon war panel's decision not to issue advance warnings.Ha'aretz
Palestinians, Israelis resume talks but clash over 'Jewishness' of Jewish state-Daily Star
Baghdad plans to 'declare final victory' over insurgents.Daily Star
Report accuses Egyptian government of systematic religious discrimination.AFP
Beirut business owners demand end to sit-in, start of tax breaks-Daily Star
Accidental weapons discharge kills French UNIFIL peacekeeper, injures another-Daily Star
Pedersen, top UNRWA official examine aid, recovery program at Nahr al-Bared
Future TV behind mysterious Beirut ad campaign-Daily Star
Kouchner Criticizes Nasrallah, Backs Candidate List by Sfeir
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner tried Tuesday to achieve a breakthrough in Lebanon's ongoing political crisis, asking Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir for a list of presidential candidates and criticizing Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah for opposing the election track.
Kouchner's fifth visit to Lebanon in six months coincides with a flurry of diplomatic initiatives to nudge Lebanon's feuding parties to agree on a consensus candidate to succeed Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud, whose extended term in office expires Nov. 24.
After talks in Beirut, Kouchner said he was cautiously optimistic about chances to end the deadlock and hoped to return to Lebanon next Monday after visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories over the weekend. Parliament speaker Nabih Berri has already postponed three sessions for MPs to elect a successor to Lahoud, and there are fears a last-ditch parliament session set for Nov. 21 could also end in failure.
In addition to meeting with Sfeir, Kouchner held talks with Prime Minister Fouad Saniora, Berri, Parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri and a number of other politicians. He was due to meet with Sfeir later in the day. Kouchner said he has asked Sfeir to prepare a list of candidates backed by all the sects as well as by the opposition and the majority and "the patriarch did not reject." He criticized Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, without mentioning him by name, by expressing "regret for hearing threatening statements made two days ago indicating that the option of electing a president is not the best track."
Hariri, on his part, noted that Lebanon is going through "tough times" and that "certain voices (Nasrallah) do not want elections, but with the French efforts and the honest determination by the March 14 Forces I am confident that we would be able to elect a president." Kouchner told reporters after his first meeting with the patriarch that France is "deeply committed" to helping Lebanon break its political deadlock. "I have come to offer his beatitude France's support," he said.
"I have a slight leaning, a very slight leaning, towards being optimistic," he said. U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Saniora on Monday to offer his backing for the election of a president free from interference by neighboring Syria.
Italy's foreign minister and the Arab League chief were also expected in Beirut later this week to try to break the impasse, which marks the country's worst political crisis since end of the civil war in 1990. The intense diplomatic activity comes as tension between the Western-backed ruling majority and the Hizbullah-led opposition mount with each side accusing the other of treachery. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah raised the stakes at the weekend by describing the Saniora Government as a bunch of "thieves and criminals" and urging Lahoud to taking the necessary measures if no agreement is reached on his successor.
Members of the ruling coalition blasted his comments as an attempt to torpedo efforts toward a compromise and force the formation of a parallel government as was the case at the end of the civil war when two competing administrations battled it out. "The current escalation marks a return to square one with Syria pulling all the strings," Rajeh Khoury, a political analyst with the leading daily An-Nahar told Agence France Presse. The Saniora government has been paralyzed since the opposition, which includes factions backed by Syria and Iran, withdrew its six ministers from the cabinet in November 2006 in a bid to gain veto powers in the cabinet.
The parliamentary majority, with 68 MPs in the 128-seat house, has threatened to go ahead on its own with a presidential vote if no consensus candidate is found.
Lahoud has threatened to appoint an interim military government if no agreement is struck, raising fears of civil conflict.(Naharnet-AFP) Beirut, 13 Nov 07, 07:12
Ban Appoints a Canadian to Replace Brammertz in Hariri Probe
U.N. Chief Ban ki-moon has picked a Canadian, Daniel Bellemare, to replace Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz as head of the U.N. probe into the 2005 murder of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, according to a letter seen here Tuesday. In a letter sent to the U.N. Security Council, the secretary general, said Bellemare, until recently Canada's deputy Attorney General, would take over from Brammertz, who has just been to nominated to be the new chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ban thanked Brammertz, whose mandate expires on December 31, "for his leadership in advancing the investigation and for his commitment to assisting the Lebanese government and people in bringing and to impunity in their country."
He said the 55-year-old Bellemare, who retired from Canada's department of justice and public service last September 29, would begin his official duties as chief investigator in the Hariri probe "at a later date." Bellemare's appointment is expected to be endorsed by the 15-member Security Council.
Brammertz, a former deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has been in charge of the Hariri probe since January 2006, when he succeeded German magistrate Detlev Mehlis. Mehlis had implicated in the Hariri slaying senior officials from Syria, which for three decades was the power broker in its smaller neighbor.
Damascus has strongly denies any connection with that murder as well as with the string of assassinations of other anti-Syrian Lebanese figures.
Last July, Brammertz released an interim report indicating that investigators had identified several people who may have been involved in Hariri's assassination.
Hariri, who was a leading opponent of Syrian domination of Lebanon, and 22 other people were killed in a massive truck bombing in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005. (AFP) Beirut, 13 Nov 07, 18:55
Nasrallah's Speech Draws More Irate Reactions from
Information Minister Ghazi Aridi, Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government said Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's speech has "obliterated the Lebanese people's hope" to achieve consensus. Labelling Nasrallah's Sunday speech as "harsh and bitter," Aridi asked: "Is the speech directed against (Speaker Nabih) Berri?" "Is it a message that goes beyond Lebanon? Have we reached a point where consensus cannot be reached to elect a new president?" wondered Aridi after meeting with Premier Fouad Saniora. March 14 leaders met in Qoreitem overnight. A statement issued after the meeting said March 14 discussed the threats aimed at "hampering friendly and brotherly initiatives and obstructing Bkirki efforts."Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat avoided identifying Nasrallah by name. He referred to him as "someone who has announced the death of all political initiatives aimed at resolving the Lebanese crisis, which he himself ignited."
"Someone appeared before us threatening and menacing as usual ... and announced to the Lebanese the beginning of a new era of wars and conflicts which he hopes will change the face of the region, and certainly through the Lebanese gate," Jumblat said.
"Someone talked about thieves and murderers," he told the weekly Al Anbaa, mouthpiece of his Progressive Socialist Party. "…Thieves and killers are those who ... obstructed establishment of the international tribunal." "Thieves and killers are those who have besieged Beirut, closed Parliament and paralyzed constitutional institutions to spread the culture of poverty and hunger in parallel to the culture of death." Nasrallah on Sunday urged President Emile Lahoud not to "allow the country to fall into the hands of thieves and murderers," in reference to the ruling March 14 alliance. "Thieves and killers are those who launch such instigating speeches that are delivered at every fateful moment," Jumblat went on. "Such speeches are delivered on behalf of the Syrian agent or ally who ... makes us believe that he is not preventing political settlements" in Lebanon. "This contradicts the image of thieves and killers who hide themselves under the name of the resistance to turn Lebanon into an arena to serve the thieves and killers of the Syrian regime and their Iranian partners," Jumblat said. "Thieves and killers are those who set up their own phone networks and link them to their security zones ... those who steal electricity and do not pay their bills," he added.That was a reference to Nasrallah's opposition to Sanior'a plans to privatize Lebanon's two mobile-phone networks. Sports and Youth Minister Ahmad Fatfat also accused Nasrallah of protecting the killers of March 14 officials. "… Nasrallah has protected those who have assassinated our allies within the March 14 Forces," Fatfat said.
"What Nasrallah did is a stab in the back of Berri," he said. "It was an attempt to foil all efforts to reach consensus." MP Akram Shehayeb blasted Nasrallah for "clinging to his weapons and rockets, describing and classifying people and threatening without forgiving." Calling Nasrallah "the Lebanese Republic Guide," Shehayeb said the Hizbullah leader "is eager to change the face of history as a show of victory for Iran, immunity for Syria and destruction of Lebanon." Beirut, 13 Nov 07, 07:56
French FM in fresh bid to break
BEIRUT (AFP) — French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Tuesday launched a fresh bid to break a political impasse in Lebanon that is threatening to derail the election of a president by a November 23 deadline. His visit, the fifth in recent months, comes amid a flurry of diplomatic initiatives to nudge the country's pro- and anti-Syrian camps to agree on a consensus candidate to replace the current head of state Emile Lahoud, whose mandate expires November 24.
Parliament speaker Nabih Berri has already cancelled three times special sessions for MPs to elect a successor to Lahoud and there are fears a last-ditch parliament session set for November 21 could also end in failure. Kouchner met on Tuesday with Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, the influential leader of the Christian Maronite community from which Lebanon's president is traditionally drawn.
He was also to meet during his one-day visit with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora as well as Berri and a number of other politicians before meeting Sfeir again in the evening. Kouchner told reporters after his first meeting with the patriarch that France was "deeply committed" to helping Lebanon break its one-year political deadlock.
"I have come to offer his beatitude France's support," he said. US President George W. Bush meanwhile telephoned Siniora on Monday to offer his backing for the election of a president free from interference by neighbouring Syria.
Italy's foreign minister and the head of the Arab League were also expected in Beirut later this week to try and break the impasse, which marks the country's worst political crisis since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. The intense diplomatic activity comes as tension between the Western-backed ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition mounted in recent days with each side accusing the other of treachery. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah raised the stakes at the weekend by describing Siniora's government as a bunch of "thieves and murderers" and urging Lahoud to taking the necessary measures if no agreement is reached on his successor. Members of the ruling coalition blasted his comments as an attempt to torpedo efforts toward a compromise and force the formation of a parallel government as was the case at the end of the civil war when two competing administrations battled it out. "The current escalation marks a return to square one with Syria pulling all the strings," Rajeh Khoury, a political analyst with leading Arabic daily An-Nahar told AFP. Siniora's government has been paralysed since the opposition, which includes factions backed by Syria and Iran, withdrew its six ministers from the cabinet in November last year in a bid to gain more representation in government. Lebanon's president, a Maronite Christian by convention in the multi-confessional country, is elected by MPs rather than by popular suffrage.
A two-thirds majority is required for a candidate to be elected by parliament in a first round of voting. In the event of a second round, an absolute majority suffices.
The parliamentary majority, with 68 MPs in the 127-seat house, has threatened to go ahead on its own with a presidential vote if no consensus candidate is found.
Lahoud for his part has threatened to appoint an interim military government if no agreement is struck, raising fears of a new civil war.
Kouchner in Lebanon As France Determined to Help End Presidential Crisis
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived in Beirut late Monday in a sign of a commitment to helping Lebanon's feuding leaders elect a new president and prevent the country from plunging into further chaos. Kouchner's meetings begin on Tuesday when he will see Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, as well as Lebanon's main political leaders, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said. Lebanon's parliament has until November 23 to elect a president to replace the current pro-Syrian head of state Emile Lahoud, whose mandate expires the following day.
Kouchner's arrival came one day after Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's fiery speech that drew irate reactions from the ruling team. Nasrallah called on pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud to adopt a "salvation" measure before the end of his term on November 24. Lahoud has warned that if no consensus candidate is found for the top job, he may name a parallel government -- a reminder of the last years of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when two competing administrations battled for control. "After the postponement of the Lebanese parliamentary session until November 21, this new ministerial visit is part of France's continued engagement in favor of a deal between the parties allowing the election of a president of wide appeal," the French foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
Bkirki, meanwhile, has outlined a "mechanism for consultation" with the feuding Maronite leaders. The daily An Nahar on Tuesday said Bishop Boulos Matar met with Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun, while Bishop Roland Abu Jawdeh held talks with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.
It said other bishops were expected to meet more Maronite leaders in the next hours, where Sfeir would get a "general picture" of their stances vis-ŕ-vis the presidential candidates before meeting Kouchner later Tuesday. Claude Gueant, a top advisor to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, told reporters last week that France was committed to helping Lebanon elect a president and could "not accept seeing the country plunge into chaos."
He said he had submitted a letter from the French presidency Friday to Sfeir, from whose Maronite community the president is traditionally drawn. In addition to Kouchner, Italy's Foreign Minister Massimo d'Alema is also due in Beirut this week to help resolve the crisis. At the weekend, Kouchner is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories to discuss a French proposal to host a Palestinian donors' conference. France plans to host the donors' conference in the coming weeks, jointly with Norway and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the representative of the Middle East diplomatic quartet.
The meeting is to build on the U.S. Middle East peace conference, expected to be held in Annapolis, Maryland later this month to formally launch negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state. Kouchner is to hold a working dinner with Blair and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr-Stoere on Friday before his Middle East mission.(Naharnet-AFP) Beirut, 13 Nov 07, 07:12
Beirut prepares to host new mediation missions
By Hani M. Bathish -Daily Star staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
BEIRUT: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is scheduled to arrive in Beirut early Tuesday to hold consultations with rival Lebanese leaders on electing a new president before the constitutional deadline expires on November 24. Kouchner is expected to wrap up a series of meetings with a visit to Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir.
Also expected to arrive in Beirut in the next 24 hours is Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, while there is a strong possibility that both Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al- Faisal and his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmad Abou al-Gheit, could arrive in Beirut along with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
Sources close to Bkirki told the CNA that a meeting was held away from the media spotlight Monday among the five members of the Council of Maronite Bishops and the four-member follow up committee representing Maronite Christian leaders from both the ruling coalition and the opposition.
The participants discussed the Christian position on the issue of the presidency in light of the joint statement issued by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and parliamentary majority leader MP Saad Hariri urging Sfeir to call on leaders to agree on a list of candidates' names. The CNA reported that both Berri and Hariri remain committed to accepting any name or names of candidates put forward by the Maronite patriarch.
Sfeir met Monday with United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Geir Pedersen and former Minister and MP Fares Boueiz.
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora received at the Grand Serail Monday French Charge D'Affaires Andre Parant. The two discussed Kouchner's visit to Lebanon and the visit of French President Nicholas Sarkozy's chief of staff, Claude Gueant, last week. "We also discussed ideas on ways to move forward with current initiatives to give them the greatest possibility of success to elect a president before the end of the constitutional deadline on November 24," Parant said after the meeting.
He said the country was going through a difficult period and that efforts are focused on electing a president based on Lebanese consensus. "We hope everyone joins these efforts and contributes to their success," Parant said, expressing optimism that a presidential election will be held on time.
Siniora also received Russian Ambassador Sergey Bukin, who expressed his country's support for all Lebanese efforts geared at electing a consensus president.
"We feel that in these critical times Lebanon is going through, there is no alternative to electing a consensus president," Bukin said, "and for the election to be conducted on the basis of national accord in accordance with constitutional deadlines ... without foreign interference from any [outside] party or country."
Siniora later met Egyptian Ambassador Ahmad Bidiawi, who left without making any comment to the press.
Saudi diplomacy also took on renewed vigor Monday as Saudi Ambassador Abdel-Aziz Khoja met both Berri and Hariri. After his meeting with Berri, Khoja told reporters, "we support continuing conciliatory initiatives and we are confident of the results."
Defense Minister Elias Murr, received a visit from US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman and discussed developments on the Lebanese scene.
Hizbullah official Nawwaf Moussawi stressed that the opposition is committed to holding the election in accordance with constitutional norms, according to a Hizbullah statement. Moussawi, who met Norwegian special envoy to the Middle East Sven Sevje on Monday, said that constitutional norms require consensus which would serve to end the domination of one group and the marginalization of another in Lebanese politics. "Israeli and American preparations for a war against Syria or Iran will serve neither political nor military purposes, but will result in a disastrous and resounding defeat for the aggressors," Moussawi warned.
Bush demands Syria stay out of Lebanon vote
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President George W. Bush Monday telephoned Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora to give him his backing for presidential elections free of Syrian interference, the White House said. Bush briefed the Western-backed Siniora about his meetings this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters aboard Air Force One. "He reiterated his commitment to ensuring March 14 as the democratically elected government, and that they should be able to elect a government free of any external interference, especially from Syria," she said. March 14 is the pro-government movement of Lebanese parliamentary leader Saad Hariri, the son of Siniora's assassinated predecessor Rafiq Hariri.
Siniora, Hariri and other leaders accuse Lebanon's pro-Syrian opposition of stalling a vote in parliament to elect a successor to President Emile Lahoud, who is also sympathetic to Damascus and who stands down on November 24.
Opposition leader and parliament speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday postponed until November 21, for a third time, a special session to elect a new president.
In his call to Siniora, Bush "reconfirmed our position that elections must happen on time and according to Lebanon's constitution," according to Perino.
"And he said that he looked forward to working closely with a president that is upholding Lebanon's international obligations," she said as Bush flew back from his Texas ranch to Washington. Lebanon's Western-backed ruling coalition on Monday accused the pro-Syrian opposition party Hezbollah of obstructing initiatives to resolve the crisis over the looming presidential election. Ruling coalition members condemned a speech on Sunday by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah who called on President Lahoud to adopt a "salvation" measure before the end of his term in just under two weeks. Lahoud has warned that if no consensus candidate is found for the top job, he may name a parallel government -- a reminder of the last years of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when two competing administrations battled for control.
Lebanon ruling coalition blasts Hezbollah over presidency
BEIRUT (AFP) — Lebanon's Western-backed ruling coalition on Monday accused the pro-Syrian opposition party Hezbollah of obstructing initiatives to resolve a crisis over the looming presidential election. Ruling coalition members harshly criticised a speech on Sunday by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah who called on pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud to adopt a "salvation" measure before the end of his term on November 24. Lahoud has warned that if no concensus candidate is found for the top job, he may name a parallel government -- a reminder of the last years of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when two competing administrations battled for control. "It is a coup d'etat, it is clearly aimed at planting discord and foiling all attempts to resolve" the crisis, Sports and Youth Minister Ahmad Fatfat told AFP.
"It is a call for the formation of a parallel government in order to create a real confrontation," he said.
He said Nasrallah's speech was "Syria's message in response to the French initiative." Deputy parliament speaker Farid Makari charged that Nasrallah was "seeking to foil... the French initiative ahead of the arrival of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner." Kouchner was due in Beirut later Monday for a 24-hour visit aimed at helping to resolve the crisis over the presidency. In a fiery speech late Sunday, Nasrallah called on Lahoud "to adopt an initiative to prevent the country from falling into a vacuum if there is no agreement" on a new president. Opposition leader and parliament speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday postponed until November 21, for a third time, a special session to elect a new president. The parliamentary majority, with 68 MPs in the 127-seat house, has threatened to go ahead on its own with a presidential vote if no consensus candidate is found. Nasrallah warned that the opposition would not recognise a president unless he was elected by two-thirds of MPs.
Sfeir says Church needs more money to support range of philanthropic work
By Maroun Khoury -Daily Star correspondent
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
BKIRKI: Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir chaired the 41st session of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon on Monday, a gathering that over the next four days will address methods of cooperation between nongovernmental and ecclesiastic institutions. The session, entitled "The Church and Financing," was held in Bkirki and attended by Pope Benedict XVI's papal ambassador to Lebanon, Luigi Gatti, and a number of Lebanese Catholic patriarchs and bishops. "The church is undoubtedly in dire need of funds in order for it to fulfill its duties," Sfeir said. "There are projects that need money to be executed, particularly when it comes to schools, hospitals and orphanages." Sfeir noted the importance of money in people's daily lives. "But clinging to money and accumulating it for the love of it constitutes a serious danger," he said. "As the saying goes, money is an obedient servant but is also an oppressive master."
Sfeir said that it was necessary to find financial resources to support the church's many projects. "The church has plots of land that need to be exploited," he said, "and properties that need to be managed wisely and projects that need to be financed in order for them to prosper and continue."
The patriarch said the council would discuss the possibility of dedicating a certain percentage of the income of Lebanon's religious endowments toward helping the needy. For his part, Gatti said money "is a good tool to promote humanitarian relationships.""Money can also promote economic growth and people's development," he added.Although Gatti stressed the need for people to achieve financial security, he also described money as a "swindler." "If Christians want the government to be more generous with the marginalized and the poor, they should be an example to be followed [in this regard], not only on the individual level but also on the social one," the papal ambassador said.
Canadian tapped to take over from Brammertz
Al-hayat says un will announce shift next week
Compiled by Daily Star staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Canada's Daniel Bellemare is expected to be appointed as successor to Serge Brammertz to head the international commission of inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri and others, according to a report published in London-based Al-Hayat newspaper Monday.
"Bellemare, an international expert in criminal cases, will also be appointed as the prosecutor before the international tribunal which will prosecute those involved in the Lebanon assassinations," the daily said.
This will be the first time that a commissioner assigned to investigate a criminal case will also be appointed as a prosecutor.
The United Nations is expected to announce the appointment of Bellemare later this week.
"This will allow him a period of five to six weeks to receive the investigation files from Brammertz, who will leave his post at the end of the year," Al-Hayat said.
Brammertz will be submitting his last report to the Security Council in December.
Brammertz arrived in Beirut late in October to try to complete elements of prosecution before quitting his post. On Friday, Brammertz met with State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza and newly appointed magistrate into the Hariri case Judge Saqr Saqr to discuss the latest developments concerning the investigations.
The special court for Lebanon is expected to consist of a trial chamber that will include two international judges and one Lebanese judge, and an appeals chamber which will include three international jurists and two Lebanese. An international prosecutor will be appointed by Ban. Lebanon will choose an assistant prosecutor in coordination with Ban. The assistant prosecutor is expected to be Lebanese but no names had been proposed so far.
Media reports last week said the selection panel to appoint judges for the tribunal is expected to complete its mission by the end of November.
Reports added that UN chief Ban Ki-Moon told head of the Higher Judicial Council Judge Antoine Kheir, currently in a visit to New York to supervise preparations for the establishment of the tribunal, that the UN was determined to have court established "for strictly human reasons rather than political ones."
The selection panel for the court is composed of two judges, currently sitting on or retired from an international tribunal, and the representative of the secretary general, Nicholas Michel, and is tasked with recommending to Ban the names of the four Lebanese judges and seven international judges who should serve on the court, as well as its chief prosecutor. - Agencies