Rabu, Oktober 12, 2005

CNN.com - Syria: Minister commits suicide - Oct 12, 2005

CNN.com - Syria: Minister commits suicide - Oct 12, 2005:
DAMASCUS, Syria (CNN) -- Syria's interior minister, who was head of the country's military intelligence in neighboring Lebanon for nearly 20 years, has committed suicide, officials said.

Ghazi Kanaan's death was reported Wednesday, days before the expected release of a United Nations report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a prominent opponent of Syria's presence in Lebanon.

The 63-year-old Baathist major general died in a Damascus hospital of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the interior ministry and other government ministers.

The head of the intensive care unit at the hospital told CNN's Brent Sadler a small-caliber bullet went through the roof of Kanaan's mouth and exited through the back of his head.

Hours before his death, Kanaan had been interviewed by a Lebanese radio station after he called in to refute allegations that aired on Lebanese television Tuesday night that he had accepted bribes and payoffs while in the Lebanon post.

Kanaan told the anchorwoman at the Christian radio station he had chosen to speak with her because he trusted her and wanted to clear his name.

He also refuted allegations -- which again surfaced on an independent Lebanese television station Tuesday night -- that he was involved in the assassination of Hariri.

Kanaan said he had nothing but good intentions for Lebanon and nothing against Hariri.

And as if he already knew his fate, the interior minister told the anchorwoman that his remarks to the radio station would possibly be his last statement.

Less than two hours later, he was dead.
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