Monday, May 25, 2009

UN probe in "Hariri whodunnit" points to Hezbollah, German media say

Despite all the recent alarm bells about the threat posed by the nuclear aspirations of Iran, it's Israel's northern border with Lebanon which is really hotting up right now. Not only did a nest of Israeli spies get exposed in Lebanon over the last couple of weeks, but one leader accused the Israeli intelligence services of plotting a targetted killing of Hassan Nasrallah to ignite a regional war and shuffle the deck.
Meanwhile, in the lead up to Lebanese elections in early June, the German newsweekly Der Spiegel has just published a sobering investigation. They conclude that Hezbollah, not the Syrians, assassinated the Lebanese former premier Rafik al-Hariri and suggest that the United Nations special tribunal probing the murder is purposely keeping its conclusions under wraps.
This German expose threatens to pull the rug out from under Hezbollah in upcoming elections, some analysts say. No wonder the Israel armed forces are planning nationwide war games next week, practicing how to face up to a multi-front attack on eretz Israel.

Read the full two-part account, by Erich Follath, online in English here. A sample excerpt below:

It was an act of virtually Shakespearean dimensions, a family tragedy involving murder and suicide, contrived and real tears -- and a good deal of big-time politics.
accusing German police commissioner Gerhard Lehmann, Mehlis's assistant in the Beirut investigations, of blackmail...

Sayyid claims that Lehmann, a member of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) proposed a deal with the Syrian president to the Lebanese man. Under the alleged arrangement, Assad would identify the person responsible for the Hariri killing and convince him to commit suicide, and then the case would be closed. According to Sayyid, the authorities in Beirut made "unethical proposals, as well as threats," and he claims that he has recordings of the incriminating conversations.
Mehlis denies all accusations.

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