Hezbollah, Lebanon

Secret Witnesses in the Hariri Investigation?

Check out this story by Jean Aziz in al-Akhbar. What I’m wondering is where the TV station got the information about the route that the “secret informant” traveled after the interview with the STL investigators, among other things. I’ve posted an English translation of part of the article below, courtesy of Mideastwire. (I’ll fill in the blanks on my own later and edit the translation…)

“A secret “witness” in Downtown Beirut”

By Jean Aziz | March 25, 2010

“In theory, the news broadcast by a television station yesterday about one of the individuals being questioned by the investigators of the International Tribunal, seems normal. However, the details carry question marks, and doubts. The news says that the international investigators have carried out an investigation, last Tuesday the 23rd, with an unidentified individual. They brought him handcuffed from one of the capital’s streets to their offices at the “Dubai Islam” building in Downtown Beirut. Interestingly enough, the concerned individual was brought in at exactly 11am to the building disguised behind fake mustaches and eyeglasses.

“Around 100 minutes later, the same individual emerged with his face uncovered, [and got in] a Japanese type cab that was waiting for him. The “witness” rode the car from Downtown Beirut to the Charles Helou bus station. There, he exited the car and rode in one of the buses heading to the north. However, as he arrived to the Naher el-Mot area, he left the bus again, crossed the highway, and took for the third time another cab that was waiting for him at the opposite side of the highway and that drove him to the Saint Simon area in the Ramlet al-Bayda in Beirut. There, he left the car and disappeared in one of the tin huts that are randomly built there…[ellipses as published]

“… This incident is linked by concerned parties to the proven matter concerning the summonses being sent from the International Tribunal to the Prosecutor-General’s Office and including names of some members that were said to be close to Hezbollah. One official certifies this matter and stresses that the response to the demand to question these [Hezbollah members] was negative with a clear rejection on the part of those “wanted” [members regarding] any appearance in front of the international investigators. The same official goes on to certify that there are negotiations going on now around finding a settlement to this issue…

“The two previous episodes are being connected with the same concerned parties to what is being said about a tendency to revive the scenario of the Der Spiegel accusation. The mentioned scenario has reached several websites that stated that the source [of the scenario] consists of sources knowledgeable of the Hague’s work… The mentioned action aims, according to the analyses of the same concerned parties, to achieving a political goal revolving around two levels: the minimal level is a mere confusing of the Lebanese domestic situation… As for the upper level, the bet is to stir Sunni-Shi’i strife… In any case, the concerned parties show extreme interest with these readings, that almost reached the level of concern to the extent that some have started to talk about two hot parentheses that might be opened in Beirut in the upcoming few weeks…”

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9 thoughts on “Secret Witnesses in the Hariri Investigation?

  1. The story of Jean Aziz is interesting indeed – it was also run by OTV (and el-Nashra).

    The only reaction against it – as far as I know – was on Youkal:

    Roughly translated, the title is “Hezbollah allies keep on violating the confidentiality of the STL investigation: phase of “terrorizing” witnesses”

    The article says that while Hezbollah allies accuse the majority media of leaking secrets about the work of STL, Hezbollah, through its allies, is in a systematic leak operation itself.
    After the “revelations” of Wahhab and the names reported by New TV, Aoun’s OTV and al-Akhbar newspaper made their entrance to the scene by implying that people can be identified – which, according to the article illustrates an attempt to intimidate and terrorize (potential) witnesses.
    The article then quotes OTV and the al-Akhbar article of Jean Aziz

    Posted by Umm iDriss | March 26, 2010, 5:17 am
  2. The explanation is obvious. Somebody spotted Mughnieh’s ghost in the Corniche and passed the word to the Tribunal. They disguised him -so no body would think they are crazy- and brought him to the premises. But because he is a false dead -and a real ghost-, as soon as the interrogator went for coffee he just sneaked out, without the disguise –and without the handcuffs. And the press boys/girls were there from the beginning to the end because he himself called them in the first place. Voila.

    Posted by mj | March 26, 2010, 6:32 am
  3. Haha
    Talking about secrets, did you know that the secretray-general of Hezbollah is actually Ban Ki-Moon? 🙂 If we believe el-nashra: http://www.elnashra.com/news2-2-428955.html
    If this says something about the credibility of the rest of the article it’s not funny

    Posted by Umm iDriss | March 26, 2010, 6:52 am
  4. I read the translation of the article (or at least tried to). A question to those who read Arabic, is the original article as confusing, poorly written, and disconnected as the translation? I have read many translations of articles that are originally written in Arabic, and I notice the same thing. I can read Arabic (at the level of a 6 year old) and have a desire to study it further and sharpen my skills. But now, if I do, is this what I am in for?

    Posted by ali | March 26, 2010, 7:37 am
  5. Yalla, I had kept a second comment in the fridge, but I’m encouraged by ali’s #4 (having asked myself exactly the same questions. And there it goes:
    And from the above (comment #2)rise an array of other -obvious- questions: Is the translation mideastwire is offering a crazy one? If it’s not the case, then: are the investigators of the STL crazy? Am I crazy? Is Jean Aziz crazy? Does Jean Aziz think his readers are crazy enough to find this information plausible -or even readable without scratching their heads?-

    Posted by mj | March 26, 2010, 7:51 am
  6. The problem with translating from Arabic is that most people do it too literal. I find it very difficult myself. While translating from Arabic, many sentences should be cut in several English sentences, for which you need some freedom of translation. This is difficult if you’re not a translator.

    Allow me to give an example:
    الواقعتان السابقتان تربطهما الجهات المتابعة نفسها بما بدأ يتردد عن اتجاه ما لإعادة إحياء سيناريو اتهام دير شبيغل.

    The two previous episodes are being connected with the same concerned parties to what is being said about a tendency to revive the scenario of the Der Spiegel accusation.

    Also possible:
    The same sources assume that the two previous incidents are connected to the rumours that revive the scenario of the Der Spiegel accusation.

    في الأحوال كلها، تبدي الجهات المعنية اهتماماً شديداً بتلك القراءات، يكاد يلامس سقف القلق، حتى إن بعضها بدأ يتحدث عن هلالين ساخنين قد يفتحان في بيروت في الأسابيع القليلة المقبلة. فيما يستذكر سياسيون من المقلب الآخر ما نسبوه من قول وليد جنبلاط إلى بعض حلفائه السابقين في 5 آب الماضي، من أن عاصفة آتية، إمّا من الجنوب وإمّا من لاهاي وأنه قرّر أن يكون في ملجأ حصين، قبل هبوبها.

    In any case, the concerned parties show extreme interest with these readings, that almost reached the level of concern to the extent that some have started to talk about two hot parentheses that might be opened in Beirut in the upcoming few weeks…”

    Another possibility:
    In any case, the concerned parties not only show a keen interest in those analyses, but also an extreme concern. Some of them have even started talking about two looming major threats that might strike Beirut in the coming weeks. While politicians from the other side remind us of what Walid Jumblatt said to some of his former allies last August 5th: that a storm is coming either from the South or from The Hague, and that he decided to take refuge before it strikes in full force.

    It’s not easy and it takes a lot of time if you’re not a translator [am not].

    This doesn’t answer the question about who’s crazy though – maybe I am for loosing my time with comparing Arabic translations.

    Posted by Umm iDriss | March 26, 2010, 8:22 am
  7. This sordid mess is looking more and more like a SNL sketch rather than a serious investigation.
    Can there be a better ending than the official accusation of Mughanieh and the hint that his assassination was in effect a liquidation from within?
    I am hopeful that the STL has more sense than to do that.

    Posted by ghassan karam | March 26, 2010, 8:31 am
  8. The accusation will only be the beginning of a -probably long- judicial process.
    Media use STL for their own political agenda – in this way the STL is utterly politicized, be it in a passive way.
    As long as there is no indictment, STL has the benefit of the doubt that it will come with a purely judicial indictment. If it doesn’t, am sure the Defense will show us during trial.
    In fact, we have to wait until STL’s President’s judgment. In the meantime, one can only hope that media / politics will not use STL to cause internal strife.

    Posted by Umm iDriss | March 26, 2010, 11:56 am
  9. I think [or hope!] Wahhab has totally lost it. With Mughniyeh he also links the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the Hariri assassination:
    English summary:
    This Now Lebanon summary doesn’t mention the quotes from Future MP Oqab Saqr, who asks why now everyone is accusing Hezbollah because some of its members would be summoned. He says being summoned doesn’t mean they’re guilty, and he reminds us that many politicians of many blocs were summoned/interrogated before…

    Ironically, it is Wahhab, who criticized Prosecutor Bellemare for failing to take internal Lebanese balance and the sensitivity between Sunni and Shia Muslims into consideration…

    Bellemare’s office issued a statement yesterday http://www.stl-tsl.org/sid/183 in which the office “underlines that any unauthorized disclosure by anyone entrusted with the confidential details of the work of the Prosecutor is a very serious matter and those found to be in violation of this trust will be held accountable.”

    As accountable as the false witnesses???

    Posted by Umm iDriss | March 27, 2010, 5:41 am

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