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Mehlis Report II - Complete Text and excerpts

12/14/2005

Thanks to Arab Electronic Journal MidEastWeb has obtained what we will politely call a preview of the second Mehlis report, which has apparently been circulating in various forms, but not relead (at least, I couldn't find it anywhere on the Web. This is a PDF document - a scanned graphic. We will post a better version when it is available. Meanwhile you can read a summary and download the full text of the second Mehlis Report here.

The report, as expected, does not reach definitive conclusions beyond implicating Syria and Syrian officials even more deeply than the first report in the murder of Rafik Hariri and others in the explosion last Februray. It asks for another six months to complete the investigation. However, Syria has apparently burned all documents connected with the report. It also succeeded in getting a key witness, Mr Hussam, to retract his testimony. According to the second Mehlis report, Syrian officials arrested members of Mr. Hussam's close family prior to his "retraction." It is naive to expect anything else of a regime like the Syrian government. It is unlikely that definitive evidence of the kind the UNIIIC is seeking will ever be found, since the evidence was very likely destroyed systematically. Many other witnesses, like Mr. Hussam, will no doubt have suffered from memory lapses or announce, after suitable persuasion, that they made a mistake or were coerced originally.

Lebanese are not likely to be too cooperative. The fate of those who criticize "sister" and sister's little brother in Lebanon, the Hizbullah, was tragically illustrated by the assassination of Gebran Tueni, editor of An-Nahar. A similar fate was prepared for Mr. Jumblatt, but he escaped.

Mr. Mehlis told the UN Security Council that the investigation could take years without Syrian cooperation, and Syrian cooperation is not really forthcoming. While the Security Council is considering extending the time period of the inquiry for another year (!), it is apparently not considering any method of compelling Syria to comply with the resolution. Sister Syria can thank Brother Algeria for that it seems. Those who are counting on justice for Rafik Hariri should not hold their breaths.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000414.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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