Truth assassinated [Archives:2005/896/Opinion]

November 21 2005

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
The report compiled by the UN team's chief German investigator Detlev Mehlis presented to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri was not a judicial one. It was rather a political report lacking evidence and the indicia. They were substituted with unverified statements and based the report on suspicious incredible testimonies. According to that report, matters have remained ambiguous and mysterious, as Mr. Mehlis built accusations on statements of witnesses whose names were not even mentioned. This would consequently lead to skepticism in pursuit of the report. It has appeared that the purpose behind the report is to mangle the strong and distinguished relationship between Syria and Lebanon, remove the two countries from equation of common understanding and to separate them. The aim is to besiege Syria individually and impose permanent international guardianship on Lebanon.

It can strongly be concluded that purport of the report is the toppling of the regime in Syria after tightening the grip on it. The report has proved to be biased to favor circles antagonist to Syria that accused it before of all types of disgraceful acts, a matter that supported the existence of premeditated intention to harm Damascus.

Moreover, the report did not present accurate picture of what had happened on the ground. It had depended merely on statements taken from Lebanese opposition elements, and this is a stance indicative of a hostile stand against Syria. In addition, the report is based on construability and consequently could not consider what it contained as abrupt legal document. For the report is distant from truth, it was supposed to bring us as closer to it. All that it reflects is intentional misleading against the interests of Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians as well as against stability in the region as a whole.

Moreover, the report did not include any irrefutable evidence pointing out those involved in the crime. In its many paragraphs the report contained rather testimonies that need to be verified and referred to an international court to ultimately decide who the innocent is and who is the condemned. I do not suppose that anyone would object the formation of such a court that would be the judge in pinpointing condemnation or acquittal. Therefore, now there could not be an affirmative conclusion that Syria was behind the assassination of al-Hariri. What is true is that it is an American scheme to increase pressure on Syria and to besiege it with more sanctions. Examples of such indications were the statements of the U.S. secretary of state Rice on the eve of submission of Mehlis' report, when she stated that the report might lead to isolate Syria at the international level. That was a statement coming ahead of events and casting light on American frantic intention to make Syria involved in that crime of assassination.

Thus, the form the report strips it of professionalism and objectivity. Mehlis has distanced himself from the legal framework and was dragged to the political stance, acting indifferently to what his report could result of dangerous ramifications on the entire region. Mehlis was not upright or truthful in what he had written but aggravated the situation. Consequently, the report could not be recognized. It is rejected according to legal, political and ethical standpoints. All that Mehlis had done was that he demonstrated to the world an example on how a judge could assassinate the fact.