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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Jul 23rd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Naharnet / NNA News Feb. 25-26, 2009
Naharnet / NNA News Feb. 25-26, 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet, Yalibnan, LBC, NNA.GOV.LB   
Thursday, 26 February 2009

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Beirut- Investigating judge Saqr Saqr has released three suspects held in connection with the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The judge however refused to release the four high-profile security officers, who will be handed over to the International Tribunal in the Hague which is scheduled to start operating on March 1

The 3 suspects were arrested following the 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others, and have been in custody for over three years. They are:
1- Ahmed Abdel Aal , who made several calls to former president Lahoud before and after the assassination
2- Mahmoud Abdel Aal, Ahmed's brother
3- Ibrahim Jarjoura, a Syrian national who was arrested for giving a false testimony to mislead the investigation

Both Ahmed Abdel Aal and Mahmoud Abdel Aal are members of al-Ahbash, a religious sect and political party in Lebanon that follows the teachings of Shaykh Abdallah ibn Muh mad ibn Yusuf al-Hirari al-Shibi al- Abdari, also known as al-Habashi ("the Ethiopian")

Judge Saqr did not explain his decision on Wednesday. YaLibnan

Maronite Bishops excommunicate those who defame the Patriarch
Lebanon - lbci report - Joseph al Khawly - Montage : Adon Bou Daher - 25/02/2009

 

June 7 Election Update
Lebanon - Me3rab - lbci report - Guitta Iyeme Nahhal - Montage : Wissam Haidar - 25/02/2009


Solano in Lebanon
Lebanon - lbci report - Tania Mehanna - Montage : Adon Bou Daher - 25/02/2009

 

UN Tribunal
Lahay - lbci report - Mona Saliba - Montage : Joe Matar - 24/022009

 

Maronite Church Warns it Would Excommunicate those who Slander the Patriarch

Maronite Bishop of Jbeil Beshara Rai said Wednesday that those who slander Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir will be punished by excommunication.

"The church does not have political inclinations. Its duty is to enlighten peoples' consciences," Rai told a press conference at the Catholic Center for Information in Jal el-Dib, north of Beirut.

"The church law says that whoever insults the patriarch gets punished by excommunication; and those who raise discord against the patriarch and the bishops would get the appropriate punishment including excommunication," he stressed.

The patriarch's only concern, according to Rai, is to preserve the unity of faith and Lebanon's independence.

About attacks by some media outlets and politicians on the patriarch and the Maronite church, Rai said: "The media has principles. It should grant citizens the right to know the truth… They should not slander people."

"It's a pity to see the politicization of religion and declaring war in the name of religion," he said.

"All patriarchs made efforts to have a single and united Lebanon. All they cared about was to protect the Lebanese entity and the unity of the faith. They paid a heavy price for that," Rai said.

The Episcopal commission for communication speaks on behalf of the Catholic church in Lebanon, the Bishop said. He urged media outlets to obtain the required information from the commission.

Rai said every person will be held responsible for any news story that does not cite a source from Catholic media centers.

The Lebanese people should choose those who will represent and serve them best, Rai said about the June 7 parliamentary elections.

"The government's responsibility is to maintain security … We ask officials not to disrupt the elections for personal reasons," he said.

Rai said the country's political scene has been transformed into a battle field and politicians are clashing and fighting rather than competing on political programs.

The bishop said the church and other religions condemn a private Israeli TV show that ridiculed Jesus and Mary.

In the program, Israeli comedian Lior Shlein sarcastically denied Christian traditions — that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus walked on water — saying he was doing so as a "lesson" to Christians who deny the Holocaust.

Beirut, 25 Feb 09, 13:35

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Solana Says EU Will Deal with Any Winner in Elections

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Wednesday that the European Union will maintain ties with any Lebanese party that emerges winner in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Solana arrived Wednesday in Lebanon from Syria as part of a regional tour that will also take him to Jordan, Israel and Sharm el-Sheikh, where he will attend a conference on rebuilding Gaza.

"Should the elections officially take place, we shall have dealings with any side that will win," Solana told a press conference following meetings with senior Lebanese officials. He did not elaborate.

"All parties in Lebanon will be working constructively in the build up for the elections. I believe this atmosphere will last till after the polls," he added. The elections are scheduled for June 7.

Solana's trip to Lebanon and Syria preceded the inauguration Sunday of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which will be trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri. Syria has been widely accused of being behind Hariri's death, but Damascus has repeatedly denied involvement.

"I am pleased with the meetings I've had," he said, of talks with Syrian and Lebanese officials.

Solana said talks with Syrian officials showed that Damascus was "moving toward cooperating with the tribunal." "I hope all sides will cooperate with this special court," he added.

Solana said he did not discuss Lebanese-Syrian ties in Damascus because the two are "sovereign states." He voiced hope the two countries can maintain their diplomatic relations and "expedite the opening of embassies" in Beirut and Damascus.

Solana said he discussed with Premier Fouad Saniora the economic situation in Lebanon, adding that the level of growth in the country is "good in comparison to other countries."

Beirut, 25 Feb 09, 19:23

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Solana: Lebanese Authorities Must Find Those Responsible for Firing Rockets

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed worries over the Katyusha attacks from southern Lebanon on Israel and said Lebanese authorities must find those responsible for these assaults.

Solana also expressed hope in an interview with the daily An Nahar published Thursday that the upcoming parliamentary elections would be "free and fair."

He stressed that signing a partnership between the EU and Syria does not contradict with the presence of deepening partnership with Lebanon. 

Beirut, 26 Feb 09, 11:08

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Mehlis Has Evidence of Lebanese, Syrian Involvement in Hariri Murder

Detlev Mehlis, former head of the U.N. commission investigating ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, said that he has a "very clear picture" of the murder, stressing he has evidence of Lebanese and Syrian involvement in the bombing attack.

"The picture is quite clear in my mind," Mehlis said in an interview published by pan-Arab daily Al Hayat on Wednesday. "I have a very clear picture" of Hariri's assassination.

Hariri was killed along with 22 other people in a massive bombing that ripped through his motorcade in Beirut's seaside Ein Mreisseh district Feb. 14, 2005.

Mehlis said he was looking forward to the day when fingers are pointed in the face of those who commit these crimes.

Mehlis assured that the crime was not exclusively committed by Lebanese nationals, but also by non-Lebanese, adding he has evidence that Lebanese and Syrian security service members have "played a role" in Hariri's assassination.

He said the investigative team had identified the suspects – the four Lebanese generals, adding that the U.N. commission together with the Lebanese had also pinpointed additional suspects on suspicion of involvement in preparing the murder.

The German investigator said he was looking forward to the day when fingers are pointed in the face of those who commit these crimes.

He ruled out any compromise on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which will start functioning in The Hague March 1.

Mehlis believed that the main thing that could hurt the tribunal is lengthy trials.

On the four Lebanese generals detained since 2005 on charges of involvement in the Hariri murder, Mehlis said: "Legally … they should be handed over to the court."

He recalled that the generals had been arrested on suspicion of their involvement in the Hariri assassination.

"As far as I know, they remained in prison for a period of three years after I left for this very reason," Mehlis told Al Hayat.

He said he strictly believes that it is the responsibility of the Office of Public Prosecution and the Court to decide the fate of the four generals, who include former presidential guard chief Mustafa Hamdan, the former head of the general security department Jamil Sayyed, Ali Hajj, who was internal security forces chief, and the former head of army intelligence Raymond Azar.

Mehlis said Lebanese authorities have the "power to act" to make decisions regarding the detained generals and others arrested in connection with Hariri's killing until the day they are handed over to the court.

He said among the two most important conclusions he had reached with his team was that those involved in the murder belonged to an organized group which has extensive resources and capabilities.

Beirut, 25 Feb 09, 09:43

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Bolton: I Have No Doubt of Syrian Involvement in Hariri's Murder

The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said he has no doubt that Syria had a hand in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination adding that the issue became international after clear proof of Syrian involvement in the Feb. 2005 bombing.

I have "no doubt of Syria's involvement" in Hariri's killing, John Bolton told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Wednesday.

"I believe that everyone not just in Washington but also in Europe and all those who understand Middle East affairs believed that Syria was involved," Bolton said. The issue became international because of "clear proof of Syrian involvement."

"I don't think that the investigators have any doubt" regarding Syria's involvement in the assassination, Bolton said.

He said Washington backed an international investigation into the assassination at the time because of "Syrian penetration of security services and the judicial system in Lebanon."

"The Lebanese alone are not capable of conducting a full and impartial investigation," Bolton said, adding that for this reason Washington looked for a way to help the Lebanese and the "democratically elected government of Premier (Fouad) Saniora."

He said the international tribunal's main message is directed towards Syria and Iran.

"We know what they (Syria and Iran) were trying to do in Lebanon. The tribunal is an effort to prevent that from happening because if people understood that Syria was behind Hariri's assassination, this would definitely hamper efforts for their return to Lebanon," Bolton told Asharq al-Awsat.

He said Hariri's murder along with other attacks on political and media figures in Lebanon was aimed at destroying Lebanon's independence and sovereignty.

Bolton told his interviewer that Washington had backed efforts to expand the probe into Hariri's assassination to include the other killings because it looked like there was a "pattern" in the murders.

He stressed that the U.S. won't put pressure on the tribunal which would function independently and the judges will reach their own verdicts.

Beirut, 25 Feb 09, 09:26

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Live Coverage 2-26-2009

11:51am Najjar: Lebanese judiciary will comply with every measure taken by the international tribunal.
11:50am Najjar: We do not want any party to interfere with judicial decisions.
11:49am: Najjar: All issues related to arrests and the evaluation of files and suspicions are at the core of judicial work.
11:48am: Najjar: Lebanon awaits Justice from you.
11:46am: Najjar: This is the first time whereby Lebanese justice refers its criminal authorities to a non-Lebanese legal system.
11:44am: Najjar: Our future depends on the battle you wage in the face of crime and the lack of consciousness that threatens regional and international peace.
11:42am: Najjar: All Lebanon with all its sects and parties receives with trust the news of the beginning of the court’s work as decided by the UN Secretary-general and Security Council.
11:38am: Najjar: The Lebanese judicial authority agreed to hand over all documents in the Hariri murder case and detainees to the tribunal.
11:37am: Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar begins press conference on Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
11:10am Joint parliamentary committees’ session was not held for lack of quorum.

 9:00am Israeli warplanes flew over Rashaya and the Western Bekaa Thursday morning.
 8:42am Franjieh: The results of the parliamentary elections are almost settled.
 8:40am MP Samir Franjieh to VDL: The March 8 forces are in a difficult situation as a result of changes in the region particularly Saudi-Syrian rapprochement and Syria’s openness to the U.S.
 8:30am MP Michel Moussa to VDL: The issue of the Council of the South budget should be solved though institutional and not political means.

Thursday YaLibnan/NNA.GOV.LB
04:08 Future TV Director-General of Public Security, Major General Wafik Jazzini there are no records on the entry into Lebanon( from Syria) for Majed Hamdan ,( brother of the detained General Brigadier General Mustafa Hamdan) nor Walid Zaghlool . He said most probably they entered through one of the illegal crossings from Syria to Lebanon. There are many illegal crossings he told the National news Agency
00:35 The top 3 Lebanese leaders will meet on Monday to discuss the budget
00:20 Palestinian authority PM Salam Fayad intends to request during the donors conference on Monday $2. 8 billion to rebuild Gaza .
The conference will be held in Cairo. More than 70 countries expected to be represented
00:15 three people set themselves on fire in the center of Beijing
00:03 El Seyassah : "March 8" leaders including General Michel Aoun are complaining about the delay in receiving the funding for the electoral campaigns , after they had received promises earlier that the funding will be coming starting the beginning of this February, but that did not occur. The March 8 leaders intend to meet with Syrian officials to raise the issue .

 
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Live Coverage 2-25-2009
8:00pm: EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and accompanying delegation left Beirut to Cairo.
7:40pm: General Security Director Wafiq Jizini: What was published in terms of Hamdan and Zaghloul's entry into Lebanon is not true, the aim here is to target general security, there is no special military entry at the Masnaa border crossing.
7:00pm The Army opened the Anjar-western Bekaa road.
5:58pm Army is trying to reopen the Anjar-western Bekaa road.
5:55pm Residents of Majdel Anjar burned tires and cut off the Anjar-western Bekaa road to protest an indictment ruling against Islamist detainees. The residents also protested arrest warrants issued against them for involvement in the May 7 confrontation
5:40pm Solana: We hope that all sides cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. We heard from Syria that Damascus is moving toward cooperating with the tribunal.
5:39pm Solana: We will have dealings with any party that wins in the elections should the polls officially take place.
5:38pm Solana: I did not discuss with Syria its ties with Lebanon, they both are sovereign states. I hope that Syria and Lebanon maintain their diplomatic relations and move swiftly to open the embassies.
5:35pm Solana: All parties in Lebanon will be working constructively in the build up for the elections. I believe this atmosphere will last till after the polls.
5:33pm Solana in a press conference: I am pleased with the meetings I've had. I was in Syria and now I am in Lebanon and I will be leaving for Jordan and then Israel. I will also visit Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss Gaza aid.

 4:18pm Solana after talks with Speaker Berri: We hope the parliamentary elections will take place in a positive atmosphere that is free of difficulty and tension.
3:55pm The Lebanese Army uncovered four missiles, unprepared for launching, near the southern town of Shebaa.
2:55pm President Michel Suleiman met EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Beirut.
1:45pm A five-member U.S. military delegation arrived in Beirut aboard a military plane from Bahrain.
1:20pm Speaker Berri left Baabda Palace without making any statement.
1:00pm EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived in Beirut.
12:54pm LBC: Mahmoud and Ahmed Abdul Aal and Ibrahim Jarjoura, who were arrested for suspected involvement in Hariri’s murder, were released.
12:46pm Future News: The examining magistrate rejected a demand to release the four generals.
12:41pm Rai: The patriarch’s only concern is to preserve the unity of faith and Lebanon’s independence.
12:38pm Rai: The government’s responsibility is to keep security and we ask officials not to disrupt the elections for personal reasons.
12:35pm Future News: Judicial sources said detainees held in connection with ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder case, excluding the four generals, were released.

 12:23pm Rai: The church law says that whoever insults the patriarch gets punished by excommunication.
 12:20pm Rai: The church does not have political inclinations. Its duty is to enlighten the peoples’ conscience.
 12:19pm Rai: It’s a pity to see the politicization of religion and declaring war in the name of religion.
 12:17pm Rai: We condemn insults against Christ and the virgin Mary in an Israeli TV program.
 12:16pm Rai: The Episcopal commission for communication speaks on behalf of the Catholic church in Lebanon. We hope you as media would refer to it only.
 12:12pm Rai: Media has principles. It should give the citizens’ their rights to know the truth and not slander people.
 12:11pm Rai: The Lebanese people should choose those who will represent and serve them best.
 12:10pm Bishop Beshara Rai during a press conference: Rather than competing on political programs, politicians are clashing and fighting.
 11:30am Speaker Nabih Berri arrived at Baabda Palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman.
 11:15am VDL: The man arrested for involvement in Maadarani’s murder is the victim’s relative named Mohammed Kheir Maadarani.
 11:10am Future News: Security forces arrested a suspect involved in the murder of Maadarani. The forensic doctor said the man was shot in the head and neck from a shotgun.
 10:20am Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian arrived in Beirut on a one-day official visit.
 8:45am Minister Elie Marouni to VDL: We believe that the issue of the Council of the South would not be discussed during cabinet sessions at this stage and we hope that the problem would be solved by President Michel Suleiman.
 8:10am MP Mustafa Alloush to VDL: If we don’t win the majority in parliament we won’t participate and become a cover for the March 8 choices. If we win, we won’t accept veto power.
 8:00am The bullet-riddled body of a Mustaqbal movement leading figure was found at Future TV’s transmission station in the Bekaa valley.

Wednesday YaLibnan/NNA.GOV.LB
23:00 Syrian FM Mouallem said Damascus and Riyadh want to work together for the sake of stability in Lebanon. He told EU's Solana "it was natural to discuss the situation in Lebanon during my trip to Saudi Arabia "
22:57 Elements of the Marada movement blocked the road in across the street from Pierre Franjiyeh gas station in Sheka and tried to stop and inspect the cars and were subjecting the people to provocation. Marada is is headed by Suleiman Fanjiyeh, a key member of the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance
22:09 Minister Tamam Salam and Raymond Aoudeh were subjected to harassment and provocations by a March 8 motorcyclist
21:41 Syrian ambassador in Washington DC was invited to meet an official at the State department
21:24 Obama will announce his decision regarding withdrawal from Iraq on Friday
20:00 : EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and accompanying delegation left Beirut to Cairo.
19:40 : General Security Director Wafiq Jizini: What was published in terms of Hamdan and Zaghloul's entry into Lebanon is not true, the aim here is to target general security, there is no special military entry at the Masnaa border crossing.
19:30 Solana : "if the upcoming parliamentary elections are held in an official and orderly manner , then we will work with whichever party wins.”
18:47 Informed sources told al Markaziyah: all what is happening nowadays is related to the upcoming elections
18:33 Army reopened Majdal Anjar road after consultations with the protesters
18:20 MP Bahia Hariri told participants at conference on future of Arabism : " Beirut did not give up on its Arab identity, defied the ( Israeli) phosphorus and cluster bombs, rebuilt what was destroyed and reestablish its role in liberation and unification efforts.
18:16 Camille Khoury : The security incidents will not affect the elections which will be held on time
18:16 Solana from the Grand Serail: Lets hope all the countries will cooperate with the International Tribunal
18:14 a reliable source told al markaziyah : there should be no concern over the fate MEA employee Sader . what is required to handle this issue on low key basis
18:10 Syrian FM Mouallem expresses his satisfaction over his yesterday's discussions with Saudi officials in Riyadh
17:59 Army deployed in Majdal Anjar and working on reopening the road
17:56 Majdal Anjar residents cut off the road to eastern Bekaa to protest against the detaining of Islamists since last May
17:40 "Free Lebanon": the Lebanese army and the UNFIL Indian battalion found about 20 meters away from the four rockets (found earlier today) , six anti-tank missiles and 60-mm mechanisms
17:36 MP Antone Zahra: Minister Ghazi Aridi notified both Batroun MPs that he will include the development of Batroun port on the cabinet's agenda for next meeting
17:27 Solana from th Grand serial after meeting PM Siniora: The growth in Lebanon in 2009 is expected to be good when compared to other countries
17:22 Celebratory gunfire in Beirut because after the home arrival of freed detainees Ahmad and Mahmoud Abdel Aal , members of
al Ahbash
16:30 Solana is meeting with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora at the Grand Serail
16:19 A U.S. military delegation left Beirut after a lightening a short visit, returning to Bahrain aboard a military aircraft.
16:18 Solana after talks with Speaker Berri: We hope the parliamentary elections will take place in a positive atmosphere that is free of difficulty and tension.
16:15 Ministry of communications : $75 million and 60 billion LL transferred to the treasury
15:57 Minister Khaled Qabbani denied the OTV and New TV rumors that he has delivered a message from PM Siniora to president Suleiman . Qabbani visited Babda today and met with the president around noon time
15:55 LBC reports says that Lebanese army discovers four rockets near Shebaa Farms
15:19 Speaker Nabih Berri calls several parliamentary commissions to meet Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
14:45 Al Hayat: Detlev Mehlis , former head of the U.N. commission investigating Hariri's assassination said he has a "very clear picture" of the murder, stressing he has evidence of Lebanese and Syrian involvement in the bombing attack
14:41 President Michel Suleiman meets with EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana in Baabda
14:11 Administration and Justice Commission considers draft law to re-launch Planning Ministry
13:45 A five-member U.S. military delegation arrived in Beirut aboard a military plane from Bahrain.
13:39 Al-Arabiya reports Israeli airstrikes on Rafah border crossing in Gaza target smuggling tunnels
13:20 Speaker Berri left Baabda Palace without making any statement.
13:00 EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana arrives at Beirut International Airport from Damascus
12:54 LBC: Mahmoud and Ahmed Abdul Aal and Ibrahim Jarjoura, who were arrested for suspected involvement in Hariri’s murder, were released.
12:46 Future News: The examining magistrate rejected a demand to release the four generals.
12:40 Maronite Bishop of Jbeil Bechara Al-Rahi warned Wednesday against attacking the Church and its figures, such as Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir. He noted that those who did so could be punished according to Church law, adding that they could also be forbidden from entering the Church or participating in masses.
12:35 Future Tv: Judicial sources said detainees held in connection with ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder case, excluding the four generals, were released.
12:01 A Turkish Airlines plane with at least 134 passengers on board , has crashed on landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol international airport, killing nine people and injuring at least 50 people.
11:59 PM Siniora and UN's Ban discuss Special Tribunal, rocket-launching and Palestinian displacement
11:48 Gasoline and diesel prices reduced
11:30 Speaker Nabih Berri arrived at Baabda Palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman.
11:15 VOL: The man arrested for involvement in Maadarani’s murder is the victim’s relative n ed Moh med Kheir Maadarani.
11:10 Future TV: Security forces arrested a suspect involved in the murder of Rakan al-Maadarani. The forensic doctor said the man was shot in the head and neck from a shotgun.
10:26 LBC: Personal, not political motives behind the murder of Future TV employee Rakan al-Maadarani
10:20 Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian arrived in Beirut on a one-day official visit.
9:54 Construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran was now complete Russia says
8:45 Minister Elie Marouni told VOL: We believe that the issue of the Council of the South would not be discussed during cabinet sessions at this stage and we hope that the problem would be solved by President Michel Suleiman.
8:10 MP Mustafa Alloush told VOL: If we don’t win the majority in parliament we won’t participate and become a cover for the March 8 choices. If we win, we won’t accept veto power. He added : Aoun should go to parliament if he wants to amend electoral law
8:00 The bullet-riddled body of Rakan al-Maadarani , a Mustaqbal movement leading figure was found at Future TV’s transmission station in the Bekaa valley.

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Live Coverage 2-24-2009
7:16pm: Secretary-General of Spanish government Bernardino Leon and delegation left to Spain on board a Spanish military aircraft following a short visit to Lebanon.
6:35pm MP Walid Jumblat left for Moscow aboard a private jet.
6:30pm Interior Ministry announced that a new center has been inaugurated in the Baabda municipality and is ready to receive applications for ID cards.
6:18pm Vincent: Our liaison office in Beirut must support the investigations and is being used by both the defense and prosecution as needed to communicate with the media and take the necessary measures to help those traveling to The Hague.

5:00pm Vincent: The names of the judges were not disclosed due to security considerations.
4:41pm Communications officer: The proceedings of the trial will be broadcast with a half hour to one hour delay to allow time for the revision of the tapes, which will not be subject to editing.
4:36pm Vincent: Any tribunal did not complete its work in three years. In my view there will be no change before at least five years.
4:35pm Vincent: The suspects will be staying in a Dutch detention center located in this area. The cells have been equipped to take in the detainees.
4:22pm Vincent: The public prosecutor will talk about the witnesses and the suspects in the right time. He has upheld the secretive nature of the investigation
4:20pm Vincent: This tribunal does not have the authority to operate as part of Chapter Seven provisions.
 4:16pm Vincent: We met with the area's residents to explain what was happening in the tribunal's premises and to assure there is nothing to worry about.
4:14pm Vincent: We did not face any protest to our work in the area where the tribunal is based instead you can see flowers on the street. This is a positive sign.
4:13 pm Vincent: We cannot separate between what we can publicly disclose and between what we cannot. All rules of privacy will be applicable once the tribunal starts operations.
4:12pm Tribunal's communications officer: We chose not to open the tribunal to the public preferring instead media broadcasting because of space considerations.
4:08pm Spokeswoman for the tribunal Suzan Khan: Nadia Ashour will act as special spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office.
4:03pm Defense representative: A defense attorney must be on the list of lawyers with a high degree of expertise.
4:01pm Representative for the defense office at the press conference: Our mission is to protect the rights of the accused.

 3:54pm Vincent: We have more funds than we need for the first year of the tribunal.
 3:53pm Vincent said that while financial support is important in the formation of the tribunal but international support is even more important.
 3:52pm Vincent: With relation to funding, I am grateful that the budget for next year has been provided in full. The Lebanese government provided 49 percent of the budget.
 3:51 Vincent: This tribunal has adopted three official languages: French, Arabic and English.
 3:49 Vincent: The public prosecutor is the driving force behind the tribunal with relation to appointing staff members.
 3:47pm Vincent: We received more than 6000 job applications. This in itself is a challenge and we do not follow a specific recruitment policy.
 3:45 Vincent: This Tribunal is different from all the other international tribunals. Each tribunal is unique in the challenges it faces.
 3:42pm Vincent: The relationship with the media is important to help people understand what is happening in the Tribunal. We will have a press office in Beirut to help with the dissemination of information
 3:42 Vincent: The key to the tribunal is transparency
2:40pm Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar will hold a press conference on Thursday at 11 am to convey a message to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the eve of its commencement.
1:48pm Bellemare visited General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza.
1:18pm PM Saniora from the Grand Serail: I don’t have any information about a meeting with Speaker Berri at Baabda Palace tomorrow or about reaching a solution on the Council of the South crisis.
12:40pm Bellemare met with Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar in a farewell visit.
12:15pm Chief U.N. investigator Daniel Bellemare met with Defense Minister Elias Murr at his office in Yarze.
12:00pm Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir: The seat of the Maronite church is not with any party against the other.
11:30am The Army’s intelligence directorate handed to Examining Magistrate Saeed Mirza 10 suspects who were arrested for attacking March 14 supporters attending a rally marking ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s murder on Feb 14.
11:00am Hizbullah denounced in a statement Israel for ordering hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in annexed east Jerusalem.
10:30am MP Antoine Zahra to TL: The LF is preparing for the elections with calm and insisting on the building of the state and its institutions.
10:00am MP Hagop Pakradounian to al-Manar TV: We held several meetings with the Phalange but we didn’t reach any agreement yet.

8:32am VDL: Khaled Toaimeh, 20, died from wounds he suffered during attacks on March 14 supporters on the 4th anniversary of ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s murder.
 
Tuesday YaLibnan/NNA.GOV.LB
23:13 Sami Gemayel: the Kataeb has proven that you could overcome the wounds for the sake of Lebanon (continued ...)
22:48 Diplomats: Syria has set up a missile facility at the site that was bombed by Israel
21:41 Solana coming to Beirut tomorrow
21:21 MP Hubeish told NBN:" Consultations are under way between the forces of March 14 for the selection of candidates and alliances, and we have already made a list of the names and they are at the disposal of Hariri
21:15 Minister Qabbani told future TV: Mehlis conducted his investigation on the basis that Lebanon is a mess and no one wants to know the truth
21:04 Israel is worried that Washington may reduce its military aid
20:48 The PSP has announced the death of Khaled Toaimeh, 20 from the village of al-Faour in East Lebanon's Bekaa Valley who died late Monday from wounds inflicted by March 8 supporters following the February 14 rally
20:34 Taburian told OTV: I do not know why Siniora does not include the electricity report in the agenda of the cabinet and I have put forward solutions for the short and medium term
20:32 palestinian sources: Qatar promised not invite Ahmadinejad nor Mishaal to the Doha summit that took place last month
20:15 MP Ghanem told OTV": You should include the cost of transporting voters from abroad in the election expenses of candidates
19:55 Sfeir: Things will not going in the right direction if the Government includes both opposition and pro regime parties ( similar to current cabinet)
19:43 Marwan Hamadeh, told al Rai : whoever is proposing to conduct the elections in one 2 days instead of wants to disrupt the elections
19:22 US Sec of State Hillary Clinton : Dennis Ross is appointed special envoy for Iran and the Gulf
19:20 Syrian FM Mouallem ends his short visit to Riyadh
19:16 : Secretary-General of Spanish government Bernardino Leon and delegation left to Spain on board a Spanish military aircraft following a short visit to Lebanon.
19:11 Israeli president Peres calls on the new knesset members to make peace at their top priority
18:48 President Suleiman: the occurrence of security incidents , calls for the need to hold elections, but the most important is to prosecute and arrest the perpetrators and to remove their political cover
18:32 Siniora: Demolishing of 80 Palestinian houses by the Jerusalem Municipality is an arbitrary decision , aimed at emptying Jerusalem of its population
18:31 Democratic Gathering chief MP Walid Jumblatt headed to Moscow today aboard a private jet
18:30 Interior Ministry announced that a new center has been inaugurated in the Baabda municipality and is ready to receive applications for ID cards.
18:01 Suleiman : Having the elections throughout Lebanon in one day is possible provided all the parties have the will to make it happen.
Note: The United states which is more than 75 times larger in population than Lebanon and more than 940 times larger in area conducts national elections in one day
General Michel Aoun whose popularity dropped substantially after his agreement with Hezbollah, and who has lost key electoral allies is insisting on holding the elections in 2 day , according to media reports. March 14 ruling majority is accusing Aoun of planning to disrupt the rest of the elections if he fails during the first day .
17:17 Voice of Lebanon: Speaker Berri will visit Babda palace tomorrow to meet with the president
16:10 Suzan Khan: The special prosecutor of the tribunal will have a media office in Beirut
15:55 sixteen people are accused of participating in the attack against March 14 supporters following the February 14 rally marking the 4th anniversary of the assassination
15:50 the detained General Jamil , a suspect in the Hariri murder, again refused to go to court to face Ahmad Merhi during his interrogation
15:47 Trade between Iran and Lebanon increased during 2006-08 from $78.424 million to $119.68 , but during the first nine months of 2008 trade began to fall slightly , Masood Daneshmand a Member of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines said
15:45 During a press conference today in the Hague Robin Vincent the registrar of the Tribunal said the names of the judges were not disclosed due to security considerations. We will announce their names at the right time

14:06 Palestinian Authority representative in Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, announced from Grand Serail that the reconstruction of Nahr al-Bared refugee camp will begin on March 9
14:01 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem and his accompanying delegation arrived in Riyadh
13:48 Bellemare visited General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza.
13:30 Bellemare to address Lebanese people end February and will hold a press conference March 1 in the Hague , the first day of the operation of the tribunal
13:18 PM Siniora from the Grand Serail: I don’t have any information about a meeting with Speaker Berri at Baabda Palace tomorrow or about reaching a solution on the Council of the South crisis.
12:40 Bellemare met with Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar in a farewell visit.
12:15 Chief U.N. investigator Daniel Bellemare met with Defense Minister Elias Murr at his office in Yarze.
12:02 Israel files formal complaint to Security Council against rocket launching from South Lebanon and holds the Lebanese government responsible
12:00 Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir: The seat of the Maronite church is not with any party against the other.
11:30 The Army’s intelligence directorate handed to Examining Magistrate Saeed Mirza 10 suspects who were arrested for attacking March 14 supporters attending a rally marking ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s murder on Feb 14.
11:00am Hezbollah denounced in a statement Israel for ordering hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in annexed east Jerusalem.
10:30 MP Antoine Zahra to TL: The LF is preparing for the elections with calm and insisting on the building of the state and its institutions.
10:00 MP Hagop Pakradounian to al-Manar TV: We held several meetings with the Phalange but we didn’t reach any agreement yet.
8:45 Environment Minister Tony Karam told VOL: The ministerial committee didn’t achieve anything because it was shot at by Speaker Nabih Berri. No indications budget controversy will be resolved soon
08:24 Khaled Mahmoud Toaimeh, 20, from the village al-Faour in East Lebanon's Bekaa Valley dies of injuries inflicted by March 8 members after Hariri commemoration on February 14
2:40 Egyptian economists are worried about the Egyptian economy due to drop in revenues of the Suez Canal
2:15 UAE: arms contracts worth 692 million dollars signed
1:37 Clinton to visit Middle East next month, and this week Mitchell is coming
0:44 PLO calls on Obama to intervene to stop the demolition of a Palestinian district of Jerusalem
0:31 Solana heading to Syria to push for resumption of talks with Israel
0:18 Gilad is in talks with Egypt, despite the suspension of his duties( replaced by another Israeli envoy)
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 February 2009 )
 
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In Memory

Rafik Hariri
Rafik HaririIn Memory of Rafik Hariri, he rebuilt Beirut, at the time of his brutal Assassination Lebanon witnessed the birth of the Cedars Revolution
Gebran Tueni
Gebran TueniIn Memory of Gebran Tueni One of the most Prominent founders of the Cedars Revolution
Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
Sheikh Pierre GemayelIn Memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel Another Prominent founder of the Cedars Revolution
George Hawi
George HawiIn Memory of George Hawi another Anti-Syrian who supported the formation of the Cedars Revolution