Posted by: Lister | March 17, 2007

The Brammertz Report on Hariri’s assassination

Hariri was about to “embark” on re-establishing cordial relations with Syria, according to this summary of Serge Brammertz’s report to the UN.

In his fifth report to the U.N. Security Council, Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz on Thursday raised the possibility that the decision to kill Hariri was made before he embarked on a “rapprochement” with Syrian and Lebanese political figures.

The report provided some new evidence and some tantalizing clues about the ongoing investigation into the killing of Hariri and 22 others in Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005. That was the day Lebanon’s parliament was scheduled to debate a new electoral law to be used in upcoming elections where Hariri was perceived as the leading candidate, Brammertz said.

One hypothesis being considered by the commission, he said, “is that those who decided upon the assassination saw it as beneficial to kill him before he formally began his election campaign, especially given the perception in the media at the time that he was likely to win.”

Another hypothesis is that in the period immediately before his death, “Hariri and others in the national and international political arena were taking steps to defuse the tensions that had arisen between him and others on the political stage.”

“These initiatives apparently included the development of diplomatic and political dialogue between Syrian and Lebanese individuals and Hariri,” Brammertz said. “This dialogue had previously been managed through other Syrian and Lebanese channels, which had apparently fueled misperceptions and aggravated the already tense political environment.”

[…] Brammertz said Damascus’ cooperation with his investigators “remains generally satisfactory.” In December he criticized 10 other countries for failing to respond to 22 requests from the commission. But he said Thursday that as a result of meetings with key ambassadors “almost all outstanding matters were resolved to the commission’s satisfaction.”

And those 10 won’t be named, as previous gossip claimed. But, according to new gossip, Brammertz will tell Ban Ki-moon who they were.

In the last report, Brammertz said a single blast from a Mitsubishi van packed with high explosives was likely detonated by a man who did not spend his youth in Lebanon but spent his last two or three months in the country.

To advance the line of inquiry into the man’s origins, the commission collected 112 samples of genetic material from 28 locations in Syria and Lebanon and in the coming weeks it will collect samples from three other countries in the region, he said. Additional countries will also be sampled, Brammertz said.

I’ve been trying to find interviews with Hariri. Wiki mentions some, but links only to video rather than transcripts.

During a BBC interview in 2001[3][4], Hariri was asked by Tim Sebastian why he refused to hand over members of Hezbollah that were accused by America of being terrorists. He responded that Hezballah were the ones protecting Lebanon against the Israeli occupation and called for implementation of passed United Nations resolutions against Israel.

He was further accused of making the American coalition in the War on Terrorism worthless and asked if he was ready for the consequences of his refusal, reminding him that George W. Bush had said : “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”.[3] He replied that he had hoped that there would be no consequences, but would deal with them if they arrive.

Hariri further said that he opposed the killing of all humans Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian or Lebanese and believed in dialogue as a solution.

He further went on to say that Syria will have to stay in Lebanon for protection of Lebanon until they are no longer needed and Lebanon asks them to leave.

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Responses

  1. I’ve found this on Democracy Now!

    PATRICK SEALE: Yes. The Syrians actually were negotiating with Hariri for his return to power. Indeed, there was an interview, big interview, with Hariri in the major Lebanese newspaper yesterday, al-Safir, in which he seemed to be reaching out a sort of olive branch to the Syrians, in which he said that even if the Syrians were to withdraw their troops from Lebanon this would not cause the Lebanese to seek a separate peace with Israel; the two tracks, Syrian and Lebanese tracks would remain together. So, this would slightly point away from Syria’s responsibility.


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