Monday, December 12, 2005

Mehlis Again Says Syria Was Behind Lebanon Assassination

Investigator Says Syria Was Behind Lebanon Assassination
By WARREN HOGE
Published: December 12, 2005

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 12 - The German prosecutor conducting the United Nations investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon said today that fresh evidence reinforced his earlier judgment that Syria's intelligence services were behind the killing and that Syrian officials were obstructing his investigation.

Detlev Mehlis, the leader of the inquiry, said in his second report to the Security Council on the February killing that his investigation had gathered a wealth of new and specific evidence.

His report said the information "points directly at perpetrators, sponsors and organizers of an organized operation aiming at killing Mr. Hariri, including the recruitment of special agents by the Lebanese and Syrian intelligence services, handling of improvised explosive devices, a pattern of threats against targeted individuals and planning of other criminal activities."

Mr. Mehlis said that investigators had been continually slowed by "arduous discussions and considerable delay due to procedural maneuvering and sometimes contradictory feedback from the Syrian authorities."

The 25-page report endorsed a request from the government of Lebanon for a six-month extension of its work, saying that more time was necessary "given the slow pace with which the Syrian authorities are beginning to discharge their commitments."

Though Mr. Mehlis himself is stepping down, as planned, this week to return to his work in the Berlin prosecutor's office, the Security Council is expected to approve the extension, possibly as soon as Tuesday, when it is scheduled to be briefed by him.

The United Nations is actively looking for a successor to Mr. Mehlis, said the spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric.

Mr. Hariri, a Lebanese politician opposed to Syrian domination of his country, was killed along with 22 others when a bomb exploded as his convoy was moving along a street in downtown Beirut on Feb. 14.

Syria has repeatedly denied any involvement and claimed that it was cooperating with Mr. Mehlis.

The commission said it had now taken testimony from more than 500 witnesses, some of them people with significant new information on the killing. It said it had identified 19 suspects whom it suspected of direct participation in the crime or in "deliberate attempts to mislead the investigation as to its perpetrators."

It did not name them.

The report said that two witnesses had confirmed that all Syrian intelligence documents concerning Lebanon had been burned. The commission said it found that no material regarding the assassination of Mr. Hariri remained in the Syrian files.

The report said the commission had 93 people working on the case and was "in close association" with Interpol and compiling an extensive tracking database essential for corroborating leads.

It said that a series of bombings in Lebanon since the Hariri assassination had not been part of its investigation. But it said it had uncovered new evidence that a high-level Syrian official supplied arms and ammunition to people in Lebanon to stage terrorist attacks "in order to create public disorder in response to any accusations of Syrian involvement in the Hariri assassination."

Throughout the report, the commission cited situations where Syrian cooperation had been minimal and it praised, by contrast, the help given by Lebanese authorities

In a passage questioning Syria's commitment but extending to Damascus a further opportunity to prove its good intent, the report said that Syria should "respond to the commission in a timely way, fully and conditionally, before it is determined whether it is complying in full with the provisions of Resolution 1636."

That resolution, passed by 15-to-0 vote on Oct. 31, compelled Syria to stop obstructing the United Nations investigation and cooperate "fully and unconditionally" or face unspecified "further action."

Though the final text of the resolution dropped explicit threats of economic sanctions, it was adopted under the rubric of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which gives the Council the power to impose punishment, including international economic measures and the use of military force.

The Mehlis commission said it had developed evidence that the truck that may have carried the bomb was stolen in Japan and then shipped to Lebanon via the United Arab Emirates. It said that Japanese and Emirati authorities were assisting the probe.

It said it had discovered "stark evidence" of how thoroughly Syrian intelligence undertook widespread surveillance operations in Lebanon that included close monitoring of Mr. Hariri and wiretapping of his telephone conversations.

Four high-level officials of the Lebanese security and intelligence services arrested this fall remain in custody, and additional evidence against them has been gathered, the report said.

It said that Syria was apparently keeping two key witnesses, Ziad Ramadan and Khaled Midhat Taha, from the commission and had resisted requests to make them available.

It confirmed that it had questioned five prime suspects at United Nations offices in Vienna last week and said a sixth interview had been postponed. That person is widely believed to be Asef Shawkat, Syria's military intelligence chief, who is the brother- in- law of President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Shawkat's name appeared in a final draft of the original Mehlis report, published on Oct. 20, which concluded that there was "converging evidence" that the Hariri killing was a carefully planned terrorist act organized by high-ranking Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officers. The report was edited at the last moment for legal reasons to remove names.

The new report noted that Syria had set up its own judicial investigation but in a strong suggestion that Mr. Mehlis viewed this as a diversionary measure, it warned that the Syrian effort "cannot invalidate or substitute for" its own work.

Damascus has in the past month conducted a campaign to discredit the Mehlis commission with Syrian state television repeatedly broadcasting an interview with a Syrian witness, Husam Taher Husam, who recanted his testimony and said he had been bribed to incriminate Syrian leaders.

Mr. Mehlis said he viewed this as "at the least, an attempt to hinder the investigation internally and procedurally."

3 Comments:

At 12/12/2005 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Another of U.N. worthless resolution will be coming soon, the Billionth and One that everyone will ignore and shove in the donkey's ass just like the one the U.N. issued to free teh Golan heights occupied by Israel.

One can smell the vultures oozing with piss over the money that will be made from the new oil-4food scam that will be coming out of the U.N.

If I was Bashar, I will seriously consider withdrawing from this criminal organization, than playing this silly game that is so demeening to us Syrians.

 
At 12/12/2005 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This is not going to be a "worthless" resolution. The Iraq Scenario will be repeated, and the first one I would blame is a regime that has allowed such scenario to become possible. It is the Assad Regime that is to blame.

For the Assad Regime to leave the UN, it must be at peace with its people, and it is not.

This Regime lacks the minmum of rationality. It is acting exactly as the plan wants it to act, and that was how Saddam, another criminal idiot did for so many years before he was taken out.

Never mind a Plan. I believe that a plan, even if it is devilish will be better than the status quo, in the long run. For this will liberate the Syrian people no matter how from this unbalanced criminal mentality of the Assad regime.\\


JAM

 
At 12/12/2005 06:18:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

If you wish a proof that the Assad Regime killed Tweini, all you have to do is visit the Conference Room called "Damascus" in the Site called "www.modon.org".

The Problem is this Conference Room is hidden from the outside world, and only Registered users can see it.

That site is full of Assadists. It is their den.

This is a sample of what they are saying in Arabic:

"""
إإلى جهنم الحمرا و بئس المصير لشيخ الحمير

و لتخلد روحه بين البقر و الجحيش ليعلم المأفون أن سوريا لاتموت بتوت أو بدون توت

عندما اغتيل سمير قصير و الله حزنت و انزعجت فقد كان يخاصم خصومة شريفة

و أما هذا اللعين فتحس الحقد يملأ قلبه على كل ماهو سوري

تم تحرير المشاركة بواسطة الزّوبعـــــهْ: Dec 12 2005, 12:00 PM
""" الزوبعة السورية، قومي سوري


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"""" ألم يظهر هذا المعتوه على الشاشة وأخذ ينطّ متل السعادين وهو عم يقول:


تووت تووت سوريا عم تموت




هنا لا يسعني الا القول وببالغ التأثر:

توووت توووت فطس العكروت............. """ زعيمهم عمرو الخير


---------------

"""لنكن واضحين: على الميت لا تجوز إلا الرحمة.

و منه قولنا: فطس الكر و فطس الكر... هع هع هع!

""""" عمرو الخير

__________________

""""فلتحترق روحه بالجحيم الأبدي، وليخلد مع الحشرات والفطايس، حتى كلمة فطس كتيرة عليه، كنت أفضل له ميتة أشنع من نوع أن يتخوزق لمدة 40 عاما بينما النمل يلتهم عينا من عينيه و اذنا من أذنيه و لسانه و قلبه """" Zeno


______________________
""""وكنا نتمنى ان يوجه الوزير الشرع اعتذاراً علنياً باسمه وباسم رئيسه الدكتور بشار الاسد عن الكلام المهين الذي وجهه الاخير الى رئيس حكومة لبنان والى مجلسه النيابي والى الشعب اللبناني بأكمله، قبل ان يبدأ أي حوار مع الرئيس السنيورة الذي وصفه الرئيس السوري بـ"العبد المأمور عند عبد مأمور"!
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هاد كلام للمنحور الله لا يرد كل من يقول توت توت سورية عم تموت
ماتذكر هالعكروت(بالاذن من مجد ) يعتذر من الشعب السوري
لكل يلي ترحموا عليه الله لا يرحم فيه مغز ابرة ويطير روحه ع الحروف
بلكي بيقلب كر


""""" Palmyra

__________________________




The Syrian Assadists are the most criminally minded in the Arab World.


JAM

 

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