30 Apr 2009

UN tribunal orders release of generals

7:37 am on 30 April 2009

Four generals held for nearly four years over the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri have been freed.

A United Nations court ruled on Wednesday there was not enough evidence to hold them.

They had been held without charge at Roumieh prison, northeast of Beirut since 30 August, 2005.

They commanded Lebanon's security services establishment at the time of Mr Hariri's killing.

Mr Hariri and 22 other people were killed by a suicide truck bomb in Beirut on 14 February, 2005.

Some Lebanese politicians have blamed the attack on Syria.

Damascus denied responsibility but the killing caused a worldwide outcry that forced an end to Syria's military presence in Lebanon after 29 years.

A parliamentary election is due to be held on 7 June. A close contest is expected.