November 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI /ISRAELNATIONALNEWS.COM ) — An investigative report on a Canadian television network has claimed that the Hizbullah terrorist group is behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and that UN investigators have overwhelming proof of that fact.
The report, which aired Monday on CBC, said that evidence gathered by Lebanese detectives and UN investigators “points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hizbullah.” CBC based its report on copies it had obtained of mobile phone and other communications in the case.
CBC said investigators called in a specialist British communications company, which found that the holders of eight mobile phones had been monitoring Hariri in the weeks before his death. The report added that a Lebanese detective named Wissam Eid who had already uncovered the network and linked it to Hizbullah was killed in January 2008 after he sent his information to the UN investigators.
The report also said that the UN team believed their inquiry had been penetrated by Hizbullah and that this is what led to the death of the Lebanese policeman. In addition, said CBC, the investigators also suspected Colonel Wissam Hassan, Hariri’s chief of protocol who is now head of Lebanese intelligence, of colliding with Hizbullah and being involved in the assassination.
Hariri, who spoke out against Syria’s strong presence and interference in Lebanon, was killed on February 14, 2005 when explosives were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut. 22 others were also killed in the blast.
The CBC report comes on the heels of several recent reports which said that the UN tribunal investigating Hariri’s death would charge members of Hizbullah in the killing.
Last month, two members of the UN team were pursued by a mob in southern Beirut and had their files stolen.
A UN spokesman was quoted in AFP as saying in response to the CBC report: “It is a matter of concern that the leaks could have an effect on the substance of the work by the prosecutors and the tribunal itself. We want to be able to ensure that the special tribunal on Lebanon can go about its work without hindrance or interference.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (son of Rafik) dismissed the report on Tuesday and said that “Colonel Wissam Hassan has always had our full trust and continues to have our full trust. We generally do not comment on anything that is not formally released by the international tribunal or one of its offices but it is my personal opinion that media leaks do not serve the course of justice.”
Meanwhile, the prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, said in a statement on Tuesday that the CBC report could endanger certain lives.
“The most serious impact of the CBC reports is that their broadcast may put people’s lives in jeopardy,” AFP quoted Bellemare as saying. He added that he was “extremely disappointed” by the broadcast.
While Bellemare acknowledged that the report came “at a time when the Office of the Prosecutor is working flat out to ensure that a draft indictmentis submitted to the pre-trial judge for confirmation in the near future,” he refused to comment on issues related to the investigation out of what he termed “considerations of utmost concern for the integrity of the investigation and the safety of victims, witnesses, suspects and staff.” (*)