3. SOUNDBITE (English) Fayssal Mekdad, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations
"I'm really disappointed, I feel very sad that what was expected to be a very credible investigation has turned out to be a very political analysis of the situation. The investigators have not gone so deep to the facts on the ground, they have taken one side against the other and they have denied the full cooperation made by Syria, with the committee and accused my country of non-cooperation which is absolutely incorrect and far away from the reality."
4. Close up UN flag
5. SOUNDBITE (English) John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN (reacting to question on whether report is political)
"I think that's ridiculous, frankly. The report speaks for itself, it's backed by substantial evidence, lots of witnesses, thousands of pages of documentation and the clear fact that numerous Syrian officials declined to be interviewed in circumstances where trustworthy testimony can be given."
6. Security Council chambers
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Fayssal Mekdad, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations
"There is no need for sanctions, this will show definitely prefabricated allegations, the investigation is still at the beginning, there is no need for that, as I have said, we are cooperating, we shall cooperate, so if such an issue is brought to the (Security) Council, I think it will be a fictitious one and unnecessary step."
8. Wide shot press briefing
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Detlev Mehlis, Head of UN Investigation:
"No one outside to the report team influenced these changes and no changes whatsoever were suggested by the secretary-general or by anyone at the United Nations."
10. Wide shot press briefing
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Detlev Mehlis, Head of UN Investigation:
"If a witness names persons that doesn't mean, that doesn't say anything about the reliability, that has to be checked at a later stage, it has to be checked maybe by a tribunal, so I decided that as the report was supposed to be made public that these names should not be in the report."
12. Mid shot press briefing
13. SOUNDBITE (English) John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN:
"I think this is really distracting us from the main point of the report itself, the substance of which doesn't change no matter what version you have or how good you are at software or whatever, and that is that the report concludes there's probably cause to believe that high-level Syrian officials were involved in the Hariri assassination. That there's clear evidence of obstruction of justice on the part of the Syrians, failure to cooperate, this is what the Security Council needs to take up in a serious way."
The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations on Friday strongly criticised the Mehlis commission report on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, calling its findings "incorrect and far away from the reality".
Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad also said any consideration of sanctions against Syria in the UN Security Council would be an "unnecessary step".
But the US ambassador the the UN strongly backed the report and said the Security Council should demand cooperation from Syria so the investigation could be completed.
The UN dossier linked the brother-in-law of Syria's president to the February 14 car bomb that killed the popular Lebanese reformer and 20 others and said Lebanese intelligence officials helped organise it.
The report stopped short of directly blaming President Bashar Assad for the killing, but it said the regime failed to cooperate in the inquiry.
The report also alleged Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa lied in a letter to the investigating commission.
In related news, the names of Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother and brother-in-law and other top Syrians were edited out of the final report, UN diplomats said on Friday.
The German prosecutor who led the UN probe told a hastily called news conference that he decided to delete the names when he learned on Thursday that the report would be made public because the Syrians had only been identified by a witness interviewed by his investigators.
"No one outside to the report team influenced these changes and no changes whatsoever were suggested by the secretary-general or by anyone at the United Nations," said Detlev Mehlis.
The deleted references to the alleged involvement of Assad's younger brother, Maher Assad, the overall Syrian security chief, and his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, the military intelligence chief, as well as other members of the government's inner circle draw the net closer to the president.
The original text was inadvertently included in the final document sent by email to reporters and diplomats.
Mehlis said if the report had remained "confidential" - as he originally believed it would be - he would likely have left in the names of all the Syrians.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to discuss the report on Tuesday.
Late next week, it will also receive a report from Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN special envoy on Lebanon-Syria, about disarming Lebanese militias.