Neil Macdonald is the senior Washington correspondent for CBC News. In the course of a career that began in 1976, Macdonald has covered six elections and six prime ministers. He joined CBC News in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers and was initially assigned to Parliament Hill where he reported on federal politics for The National.
Before taking up his post in Washington, in March 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years. He won Gemini Awards in 2004 and 2009 for best reportage; the most recent for his reporting on the economic crisis. He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.
Who killed Rafik Hariri?
Oct. 19, 2004
UN resolution calls on Syria to withdraw its 20,000 troops from Lebanon and for the disbanding of all Lebanese militias, most notably Hezbollah.
The next day, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri suddenly resigns in a protest against Lebanon’s pro-Syria president.
Feb. 14, 2005
Hariri and 22 others are killed in a massive explosion in downtown Beirut. In the days that follow hundreds of thousands of demonstrators defy a government protest ban to demand Syria withdraw its army from Lebanon.
Detailed timeline of Syrian presence in Lebanon 2004-2006
Timeline of Syrian history 1920 to 2007
April 7, 2005
UN Security Council establishes International Independent Investigation Commission.
April 26, 2005
The last battalions of Syrian troops leave Lebanon.
Prominent journalist Samir Qasir, a critic of Syrian influence, and George Hawi, leader of the Lebanese Communist party, are killed in separate bombing incidents.
Four pro-Syrian generals are charged over the assassination of Rafik Hariri. They are released in April 2009 for lack of evidence.
Oct. 20, 2005
UN special investigator Detlev Mehlis, a German judge, issues a report implicating Syrian authorities and their Lebanese allies in the assassination. Syria denies any involvement.
Capt. Wissam Eid report submitted to UN commission. Is filed and lost.
July 12, 2006
Hezbollah militants conduct a raid into Israel, killing as many as seven Israeli soldiers and capturing two. Israel invades the next day, enlarging a conflict that lasts until mid-August when the UN imposes a ceasefire.
Bomb attempt on life of Lt. Col Shehadeh, Eid’s boss.
Ministers from Hezbollah and the Amal movement resign over cabinet approval of UN plans for special tribunal to try suspects in Hariri assassination.
Leading Christian politician and government minister Pierre Gemayel is shot dead.
Hezbollah-led opposition steps up pressure on the government to resign by calling general strike.
UN Security Council votes to set up a tribunal in Hariri case.
Anti-Syrian MP Walid Eido is killed in a bomb attack in Beirut.
Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanim is killed by a car bomb.
UN investigation collects cellphone records and begins telecom analysis.
Canadian jurist Daniel Bellemare is appointed to head the special UN tribunal.
Eid report resurfaces and he is contacted by commission investigators.
Jan. 25, 2008
Capt. Eid killed by car bomb.
Lebanese leaders reach agreement on national unity government.
International tribunal into Hariri assassination opens in The Hague.
Four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals and a Syrian intelligence officer detained in connection with the Hariri bombing are released.
Saad Hariri succeeds in forming government of national unity, five months after his bloc won majority of seats in parliament.
Lebanon’s cabinet endorses Hezbollah’s right to keep its arsenal of weapons.
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Arabia King Abdullah make surprise joint visit to Beirut amid rumours Hezbollah officials will be indicted in Hariri murder.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pays controversial visit to Lebanon that culminates in rally at Hezbollah stronghold near Israeli border.
Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah blames Israel for Hariri assassination.