13 Feb 2014

Marshalls rescinds UNESCO nomination

3:53 pm on 13 February 2014

The Marshall Islands has rescinded a nomination to UNESCO of a former Lebanese security chief who was a suspect in the assassination of Lebanese ex-Premier Rafik Hariri in 2006.

The appointment of Major General Jamil al-Sayyed to represent the Marshall Islands to UNESCO has been formally withdrawn according to the acting Marshalls president, Tony deBrum.

International news reports say the Marshall Islands nomination would give Mr al-Sayyed diplomatic immunity, allowing him to avoid possible prosecution from the UN-supported Special Tribunal for Lebanon that has already begun prosecuting others involved in the Hariri assassination.

A letter rescinding the nomination of Mr al-Sayyed was prepared and signed by the foreign minister, Phillip Muller, who had also signed the original letter of nominating Mr al-Sayyed in December.