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October 24, 2005

UN Assassination Report, Unredacted

From Taranto:

The original Microsoft Word document is here, and MidEastWeb.org has rendered it in HTML form. Here's the key passage, rendered to look like redlined Microsoft Word text (note that this will not appear properly if you're reading this column as a text e-mail):

One witness of Syrian origin but resident in Lebanon, who claims to have worked for the Syrian intelligence services in Lebanon, has stated that approximately two weeks after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1559, Maher Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamil Al-Sayyed senior Lebanese and Syrian officials decided to assassinate Rafik Hariri. He claimed that Sayyed a senior Lebanese security official went several times to Syria to plan the crime, meeting once at the Meridian Hotel in Damascus and several times at the Presidential Place and the office of Shawkat a senior Syrian security official. The last meeting was held in the house of Shawkat the same senior Syrian security official approximately seven to 10 days before the assassination and included Mustapha Hamdan another senior Lebanese security official. The witness had close contact with high ranked Syrian officers posted in Lebanon.

According to the Times, "Mr Annan had pledged repeatedly through his chief spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, that he would not change a word of the report by Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor":

But computer tracking showed that the final edit began at about 11.38am on Thursday--a minute after Herr Mehlis began a meeting with Mr Annan to present his report. The names of Maher al-Assad, General Shawkat and the others were apparently removed at 11.55am, after the meeting ended.

Last week we noted an Associated Press report that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said that "he is determined to keep an upcoming report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri from fanning tensions between Syria and Lebanon." Thanks to Bill Gates, now we know how far Annan was willing to go to protect the Syrian dictatorship.


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posted by Ace at 05:15 PM

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