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Bellemare Visits Victims' Families, Says Probe Making Progress PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009

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Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare has visited the families of four victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Lebanon, the prosecutor's office said in a statement. 

The prosecutor paid separate visits to Samir Antoine Chikhani and Noha Emile Azar, the parents of Charles Chikhani who was killed in the bombing that targeted MP Antoine Ghanem on September 19, 2009.

Bellemare also visited Aida Eido, the widow of MP Walid Eido, and his sons, Zaher and Mazen Eido. Eido was killed with his son Khaled in a targeted attack on June 13, 2007.

The prosecutor paid a visit to Abdelhakim al-Ghalayini, the brother of Abdul Hamid Mohamed al-Ghalayini, who was one of the victims of the bombing on February 14, 2005 that targeted former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Furthermore, Bellemare visited Laudy al-Hajj, the widow of Maj. Gen. François al-Hajj and his son and daughter, Elie and Rasha al-Hajj. Al-Hajj was killed in a targeted attack on December 12, 2007.

"The visit of the prosecutor is part of a standing outreach program he established during his tenure as Head of the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission that involves regular visits by investigators to surviving victims and the families of the victims," the statement, which was released on Tuesday, said.

"I apologize to the aggrieved families of the victims whom I could not meet during my short visit. I would have loved to meet personally with all the victims' families and the victims who survived and I intend to meet as many of them as possible during my next visits because all victims matter equally regardless of status, position, rank or any other consideration," the prosecutor told the families he met.

He further stated: "The victims and their families are the reason why the Tribunal was established and for my team and I, you are not 'cases' or 'files'."

"I can assure you that we are making progress and that I am very optimistic. I sincerely wish I could tell you more about the reasons for my optimism but unfortunately I cannot because I do not want to give away any information, or even a hint, that could tip off those we are after," the prosecutor told the families.

Furthermore, he urged the families of the victims to uphold their faith in justice and their confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of the tribunal and the ongoing investigation.

Beirut, 09 Dec 09, 13:24
 
http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&75D32BE1344F0CC1C2257687003DEEED



 
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