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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

UN investigator Brammertz in Damascus

UN investigator Serge Brammertz is in Damascus to interview President Bashar Al-Assad.

It comes one day after Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora announced that Bashar had personally threatened Rafiq Al-Hariri, but revealed that he wasn't in the room when it happened.

There have been suggestions inside and outside the Hariri camp that Rafiq lied about Bashar's threats. He was trying to deflect criticism for siding with Syria over support for Lahoud.

Brammertz took over from Detlev Mehlis's inquiry into the killing of former Lebanese PM Hariri.

He will also speak to Vice President Farouq Ash-Sharaa who was accused of lying to the UN commission by Mehlis.

In recent weeks there have been two claims that Brammertz was on his way to Damascus - both of these proved to be false. But today, he has finally made it to the Syrian capital in a convoy of ten bullet-proof vehicles.

Bashar says no question will be off limits: "They can ask whatever they like."

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