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Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Mehlis report conclusions (updated)

Main conclusions of the Mehlis report (you can also read it here)

- "It is the Commission’s view that the assassination of 14 February 2005 was carried out by a group with an extensive organization and considerable resources and capabilities. The crime had been prepared over the course of several months. For this purpose, the timing and location of Mr. Rafik Hariri’s movements had been monitored and the itineraries of his convoy recorded in detail."

- "Building on the findings of the Commission and Lebanese investigations to date and on the basis of the material and documentary evidence collected, and the leads pursued until now, there is converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in this terrorist act. It is a well known fact that Syrian Military Intelligence had a pervasive presence in Lebanon at the least until the withdrawal of the Syrian forces pursuant to resolution 1559. The former senior security officials of Lebanon were their appointees. Given the infiltration of Lebanese institutions and society by the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services working in tandem, it would be difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such a complex assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge."

- "The likely motive was political. However, since the crime was not the work of individuals but rather of a sophisticated group, it very much seems that fraud, corruption, and money-laundering could also have been motives for individuals to participate in the operation. "

- the continuing investigation should be carried forward

- "It is the Commission’s conclusion that, after having interviewed witnesses and suspects in the Syrian Arab Republic and establishing that many leads point directly towards Syrian security officials as being involved with the assassination, it is incumbent upon Syria to clarify a considerable part of the unresolved questions. While the Syrian authorities, after initial hesitation, have cooperated to a limitedcertain degree with the Commission, several interviewees tried to mislead the investigation by giving false or inaccurate statements. The letter addressed to the Commission by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic proved to contain false information. The full picture of the assassination can only be reached through an extensive and credible investigation that would be conducted in an open and transparent manner to the full satisfaction of international scrutiny. "

Addendum: From the introduction: "In producing this report the Commission has endeavored to ensure that nothing it does or says undermines the ongoing criminal investigation and any trials that may follow. The Commission, at this juncture cannot disclose all the detailed elements and facts it has in its possession, beyond sharing them with the Lebanese authorities."

Don't expect to read details about current investigation leads, the investigation is still ongoing.

Also keep in mind this report is intended mostly for the UN security council.

Even though the accusations were abound ... it was saddening to actually read all of them in print. This document will be going down in history.
Did you notice that in the Washington Post downloadable version of the report, Microsoft Word shows the modifications that they made ? The name of Maher el Assad was initially mentionned and then taken out.
It took me 30 minutes to start it. It's a surreal experience and I can't describe what I am feeling right now.

I guess I am overwhelmed with saddness.

He is gone. This report will not bring him back.
Yes, I noticed. I made sure to save the Washington Post version. You all should do the same.
Interesting, isn't it?! What we wrote about the other day, with regard to the As-Siyassah report from February. Maher, Asef, Bahjat and Ghazali. But even beyond, it extends to the entire structure, including Sharaa and Mouallem both of whom apparently played an even more sinister role than expected. In other words, the entire system, the entire hierarchy, the entire structure is indicted. You don't even need to name an Assad!
And Nasser Qandil... That will be such a satisfaction to see him go down. I also don't see how Lahoud can survive this. Kiss ikhto ma yirja3.
It's very funny that in the end, As-Siyassah's reports weren't really off the mark!
I have tears in my eyes, remembering the great person Hariri who tried his best to loosen the rope around the neck of Lebanon so it will get free!

Below is a comment that I posted on Syriacomments.com blog.

To everyone who was involved in the ordering, planning, executing, and covering up of the crime, you can run but not hide! I promise you that you will get the punishment that you deserve!

To our brothers and sisters in Syria, the days of oppression and torture by the hands of the Al-Asad family mafia, totalitarian regime are numbered and you will be free!

To my fellow Lebanese, let us unite and start building our beloved country. We will NEVER forget the civil war and how we killed each other. We will NEVER forget the 29 years of Syrian occupation. We should NEVER allow outsiders to interfere in our differences!

May God bless Lebanon and bless Hariri who gave his life for an independent, sovereign, free LEBANON.
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