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Hariri: an audio tape unveils fabrication of false testimonies

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On 15 January NewTV, an independent Lebanese television network, released an audio tape of a secret meeting, held in Marbella (Spain) in 2005. It was attented by (from left to right on the still used to illustrate the audio tape): Saad el-Hariri (son of the slain former Prime Minister), Mohamed Zahair as-Siddik (the principal false witness), Commissioner Gerhard Lehmann (deputy-chief investigator of the UN Commission) and Wissam el-Hassan (Saad Hariri’s right-hand man and head of Lebanese intellegence).

During the meeting, the conspirators decided to frame four Lebanese generals and nine Syrian key figures for the murder of Rafik el-Hariri. They also discussed the payment and the protection of the false witness.

Let us recall that in the aftermath of that meeting four Lebanese generals were arbitrarily incarcerated for four years. Israel took advantage of the Lebanese security services’ decapitation to attack the country. On the basis of M. as-Saddik’s false testimony, the Commission accused the serving Presidents of Syria and Lebanon, Bachar el-Assad and Emile Lahoud, while the United States threatened to intervene militarily to arrest them. The scheme fell apart when the Syrian secret services demonstrated the inanity of the false testimony.

To the present, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has refused to delve into "the affair inside the affair" (the false witnesses) and has failed to supply the four unjustly incarcerated generals with the documents that would enable them to rebut their accusers.

German commissioner Lehmann has been charged in his country for being a CIA agent implicated in the abduction, detention and torture of prisoners in "black holes" around Europe. He was formally identified by one of the victims.

After some time in France, Mohammed Zuhair as-Saddik vanished until he was picked up in the United Arab Emirates and briefly jailed for illegal entry and use of a false passport. During a press conference after his release, he stated his counterfeit Czech passport had been handed to him personally by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Anticipating its imminent debacle, several high officials of the Tribunal have been selling at abusive prices the documents they have had access to.

According to the Lebanese press, in breach of the secrecy of investigation, the indictment was apparently presented last week in New York by the U.S. State Department to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and to Saad Hariri (then Lebanese Prime Minister). Its publication had been scheduled for Saturday, 15 January, but it was postponed to the 17th in view of the Lebanese Government’s resignation. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her French counterpart Michèle Alliot-Marie commented on the indictment in public, thereby confirming that they had been illegally informed in advance.

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