Beirut - Chief U.N. investigator Serge Brammertz, who is probing the assassination of Lebanon 's former prime minister Rafik Hariri, traveled to Syria Wednesday morning, Lebanese media reported.
It said Brammertz ( R) , along with a team of investigators, crossed the Masnaa border checkpoint at 9 a.m.
He returned this afternoon to Lebanon
Hariri was killed along with 22 others in a massive bombing on the Beirut seafront on Feb. 2005.
Brammertz will be submitting his updated report to the UN security council on July 19
The anti-Syrian parliamentary majority accuses Syria of being behind the killing. But Damascus denies any involvement.
Brammertz expected to be lead prosecutor at war crimes tribunal
The chief prosecutor at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, is expected to be succeeded by Serge Brammertz, UN officials in The Hague and in New York said.
Brammertz, a Belgian criminologist, has been invited to take up the prosecutor's post at the UN tribunal in The Hague in December, when his mandate in Lebanon expires, the officials said Wednesday.
Brammertz, seen as the strongest candidate for the job, has accepted, the officials said. He could not be reached immediately for comment.
Del Ponte's second term expires in September, and she has said she wants to step down. She has been asked to stay on until the end of the year, or at least until her successor is able to take over, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the new candidate had not yet been announced.
Last Wednesday, in an interview in the office she has occupied for almost eight years, Del Ponte said she would be willing to stay on but was awaiting formal approval from the Swiss government, still nominally her employer since her days as the Swiss attorney general.
Sources: Naharnet, AP, Ya Libnan
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