The issue of false witnesses in the Hariri investigation is receiving considerable play in the Lebanese media these days, particularly in outlets close to the parliamentary minority. (See here for al-Akhbar‘s interesting series on the subject.)
Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly demanded that the STL investigate the backgrounds of discredited witnesses such as Muhammad Zuhayr Siddiq and Husam Taher Husam so as to determine who “funded and fabricated” them, while other politicians such as FPM chief Michel Aoun have argued that such transparency is absolutely necessary if the STL’s findings are to be accepted as legitimate. Meanwhile, March 14th politicians have characterized these statements as an attempt to undermine public faith in the STL.
For my part, I can’t help but detect a note of warning in Nasrallah’s rhetoric and in his constant promises of “more information at a later date” whenever he discusses the issue of false witnesses. Does the party possess information about these people that could be embarrassing for certain sponsors and supporters of the STL? To judge by the flood of (largely unattributed) information published by al-Akhbar — including recorded phone conversations between a discredited STL informant and figures like Bahiya al-Hariri, Ashraf Rifi, and Detlev Mehlis (which, I imagine, could only have arrived in its newsroom via a very high-level leak) — I would not be surprised.
For a thorough overview of the development of the STL and the false witness scandals, I recommend reading an excellent piece by Gary Gambill published in 2008. As for what Detlev Mehlis had to say on the subject, see his interview with Michael Young here.
- This article in As-Safir surveys the attitudes of different factions within the Future Movement on the issue of the tripartite summit, and on the fate of the STL.