Beirut, 15 Sept. (AKI) – The UN commission investigating the death of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri has asked that banking secrecy be lifted on the bank accounts of nine Lebanese and Syrian citizens, to review financial transactions over the last five years. The list includes a number of high-ranking figures; the current Syrian interior minister, Ghazi Kanaan, who was head of Syrian security in Lebanon until 2002, his successor until April 2005, Rustum Ghazale, the current Lebanese defence minister, Elias al-Murr, the editor of ad-Diyar newspaper, Charles Ayub, and former Lebanese MP, Nasir Qandil.
The UN list comprises more than thirty people, who are suspected of involvement in Hariri’s murder.

 Hariri died on 14 February, 2005 when a massive bomb explosion destroyed his car in central Beirut. He had opposed the presence of Syrian military and security forces in Lebanon. The murder prompted mass protests, forcing the pro-Syrian government to resign. A UN commission was created to investigate on the issue and started work in June 

 According to local judicial sources, last week, the UN commission, headed by Detlev Mehlis, also asked to check the bank accounts of four generals formerly in charge of security services in Lebanon; Raymond Azar, Mustafa Hamdan, Jamil as-Sayyied and Ali Hajj. The UN team has also asked to interrogate the four men.

Local press reports in Lebanon say the UN commission learnt of bank transfers abroad of huge amounts of money (with bank accounts of 500 million dollars each) after questioning Beirut businessmen linked to the former Lebanese and Syrian security officers.