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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Dec 02nd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow UN & Tribunal arrow Bolton: I Have No Doubt of Syrian Involvement in Hariri's Murder
Bolton: I Have No Doubt of Syrian Involvement in Hariri's Murder PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet   
Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Mehlis Has Evidence of Lebanese, Syrian Involvement in Hariri Murder

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



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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