Friday, March 24, 2006

The Siddiq Saga continues... (by t_desco)

Zouheir Siddik nie s’être jamais rétracté sur son témoignage

Zouheir Siddik, un des « témoins-clés » dans l’affaire de l’attentat contre Rafic Hariri, a nié hier s’être « jamais rétracté sur le témoignage » qu’il avait fourni à la commission d’enquête internationale en charge de ce dossier.
Dans un communiqué publié à Paris, M. Siddik affirme que « toute information contraire relève de l’erreur et de la malveillance ».
Il assure en outre n’avoir jamais été poursuivi pour « faux témoignage » et que ni la commission d’enquête, ni les autorités françaises ni libanaises « n’ont mis (sa) parole en doute ».
Enfin, M. Siddik affirme rester à la disposition des enquêteurs et « de toute juridiction internationale amenée à juger » de l’affaire Hariri et indique avoir très récemment rencontré des membres de la commission d’enquête à qui il a réitéré son précédent témoignage.
Élie Masboungi, L'Orient-Le Jour

The latest UN report confirms that Brammertz is still evaluating the credibility of Siddiq's testimony:

29. ... It was stated that further investigation was required into an allegation that a Mitsubishi truck was seen in a camp in Zabadane (Syria) shortly before the explosion This allegation needs to be further corroborated and remains an on going line of enquiry in the context of the evaluation of the information provider.

It was Siddiq who mentioned the Zabadane camp (§110, first Mehlis Report).

The new statement by Siddiq is contradicted by several earlier statements:

Syria's UN Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad told the Security Council on December 13, 2005:

The Syrian Embassy in Paris received a handwritten letter from him (Zuheir Siddiq) stating that he had been kidnapped and coerced to give his previous testimony, upon which the Commission continues to rely in its new report.(PDF)

The second Mehlis Report stated that DNA evidence contradicted parts of Siddiq's testimony (§107, first Mehlis Report):

28. In order to further investigate Mr. Saddik’s statements about the planning and execution of the crime, the Commission obtained DNA samples from Mr. Saddik, as well as from his wife, children and brothers-in-law. Those samples were analysed to determine whether there was a match with either evidence from an apartment in Al-Dahiyye, Beirut, in which Mr. Saddik stated he attended planning meetings, or evidence retrieved from the crime scene. The results of those comparisons were negative.(PDF)

Therefore, Siddiq's claim that "ni la commission d’enquête, ni les autorités françaises ni libanaises « n’ont mis (sa) parole en doute" is simply not true.

A member of Saad Hariri's entourage told French journalist Georges Malbrunot that Siddiq was probably used to convey information "gathered elsewhere". Malbrunot also reported that the CIA as well as the French intelligence services had come to the conclusion that Siddiq was unreliable ("l'homme est un affabulateur").

Le clan Hariri aurait manipulé un témoin clé de l'enquête
(Le Figaro, mercredi 30 novembre 2005, p. 3, quoted here)

Pour l'équipe Hariri, même douteux, l'homme est utile. « On s'en est probablement servi pour lui faire endosser des informations recueillies par ailleurs », reconnaît un membre de l'entourage de Saad Hariri. En échange vraisemblablement d'une importante somme d'argent, Sadiq accepte de recycler des renseignements qui, espère-t-on, pourraient faire avancer l'enquête.


At 3/24/2006 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

The "Habibi Hariri" commedy show continues.....with all new episodes from Paris Studios and Brought to yooooou from the entertainment capital of the world Waaaaaaaashibton, Deeee....Ceeee with leading performance by the world's famous super star actor Enki's Ape and his beautiful and daring "A" team, the UUUUUU.N.

Join Syriacomment network, every now and then to see this blockbuster, with 16.7 Billion highest gross boxoffice movie to date and rising to be the number one and highest gross earning movie of all times.

At 3/24/2006 02:21:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

"..West backs sanctions against Belarus.."

"...EU slap sanctions against Belarus..."

WASHINGTON Mar 24, 2006 (AP)— The United States joined European nations Friday in imposing sanctions on Belarus in retaliation for a crackdown on political protesters after an election that the White House said was fraudulent.

I guess the Jews convinced the world that Bedouin Arabs are subhumans. But I look at the bright side of things, now we have new friend in Lukashenko, SASHA BAYYYYBEEEE, GO SASHA BABY, GO. Look at other great world leaders Assad, SONG, NIZHAD. they know how to deal with all those jewish puppets presidents, king and queens of the world. STAY INDEPENDENT and keep your people free. Soon the rest will be numbered beasts and treated by the world bank, U.N. and IMF like working farm animals, Give it 3 years max.

At 3/24/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

The horrendous costs of an American failure in Iraq
Judith S. Yaphe

25 March 2006
Daily Star
Beirut -- On the third anniversary of the liberation of Iraq, while Iraqis are increasingly enmeshed in a sectarian-driven civil war, Americans ask: What have we accomplished in Iraq? Is the United States or Iraq safer, happier and more secure; are Iraqis at peace with their neighbors and themselves? Or has the U.S. broken the bonds that kept Iraq together, threatening to destabilize the region that it hoped Iraq would lead into "a new world order"? (The term may have been coined by George H.W. Bush, but it surely fits son George W. Bush.)

How you measure success or failure in Iraq depends on what you believe the goals of the Bush administration were in 2003. If the goal was to remove Saddam Hussein and the Baathist regime that had ruled the republic of fear for more than three decades, then Iraq is a success, at least thus far. If you believe the war was about eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and alleged terrorist links, then Iraq is a success. If you believe that the war was about the creation of a democratic Iraq in which people are free to elect their government, develop transparent political institutions, adopt a constitution and express opinions openly, then Iraq is part success, part failure. But if you believe the war was about creating an effective government that represents the interests of all the people of Iraq, the rule of law, and protection of civil liberties, minority and human rights, then Iraq is a failure, at least thus far.

Failure can come in several forms: Iraq breaks apart, hangs together as a weak confederation of mini-states, or is once again brought under the control of a strong leader, party, or militia. Whatever the outcome, Iraqis will accuse the U.S. of siding with one side or the other and interfering in their sovereign affairs. The neighbors already accuse Washington of failing to understand the nature of politics in Iraq and deliberately allowing Shiite extremist factions to dominate the government in order to keep Iraq - and themselves - in disarray.

American policy in the Middle East remains based on maintaining Iraq's territorial unity and political integrity, preserving the regional status quo and access to reliable energy sources, and denying any neighbor's hegemonic, nuclear ambitions. Failure would not only place these goals at risk, it would have far-reaching consequences for American power projection in the region. Failure would have several other negative consequences.

First, it would undermine the stability of friendly regimes that depend on American commitments to maintain a balance of power in the region. Jordan and Saudi Arabia would be at greater risk, and Turkey might feel compelled to intervene in a now independent Kurdish state.

Second, it would raise questions about American credibility and willingness to commit to friendly regimes' long-term security. In a major crisis, the Gulf Arabs will support the U.S., but they will also question the wisdom of relying solely on the U.S. for their protection. Without a Sunni-led Iraq or a determined American backer, other options - China, Pakistan or India perhaps - may look more attractive.

Third, it would give Iran opportunity to expand its "benign hegemony" further over the region with impunity. This could lead to a larger Iranian political, military and intelligence engagement in Iraq and the ability to project power into Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf in defense of embattled Shiite communities.

Fourth, it would weaken American efforts to broker an end to Israeli-Palestinian confrontations, counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction, or maintain cooperation in the war on terrorism. It would also send jitters through the oil markets.

And fifth, it would boost Al-Qaeda's appeal to recruits and ability to intimidate the weak, especially if Iraq becomes a safe haven and launching pad for region-wide operations.

If Iraq somehow survives intact, everyone will take credit. If it fails, the blame will be placed squarely on the American doorstep. The costs of failure will be measured in the increased risk of wider Sunni-Shiite conflict, the undermining of regimes long friendly to the U.S., and the prospect of jihadists controlling whatever Sunni state emerges in the former Iraq. More worrisome, failure, accompanied by a U.S. withdrawal, will reaffirm for many that domestic American politics in an election year can reshape international commitments and security strategies regardless of international conditions.

The consequences for Iraq will be far worse. Failure accompanied by American military disengagement will signal the beginning of all-out civil war. To date, religious extremists, nationalists, disgruntled Baathists and military officers and the remnants of Saddam's terror squads have scrimmaged while the Kurds watch. Failure and withdrawal will most likely mean war in which Arab fights Arab for territorial control of a new Iraq under one leader, faction, clan, sect, or party. Nothing will be sacred or safe, not even an independent or autonomous Kurdistan regional authority.

Judith S. Yaphe is senior research fellow and specialist on Iraq in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington. The opinions expressed here are hers alone and do not reflect the views of the university, the Department of Defense or any other agency. This commentary first appeared at, an online newsletter.

At 3/24/2006 03:25:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Siddiq denies retracting testimony in Hariri case

Daily Star staff
Saturday, March 25, 2006

BEIRUT: The key witness in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Syrian Mohammed Zuheir Siddiq, said on Thursday that he "never retracted his testimony," which he delivered before the international investigation committee looking into the crime.

In a statement issued by his attorney in France, Siddiq said: "I didn't go back on my testimony at any time and any information that contradicts my statement is false or stems from bad intentions."

He also said he is "at the disposal of the international investigation committee to contribute to the uncovering of the complete truth."

The statement was issued following rumors spread since Tuesday that Siddiq had crucial information to deliver to the media.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, a man declaring that he was Siddiq made several phone calls to French journalists, asking them to meet him in a Lebanese restaurant in the fifth arrondissement in Paris. He never showed up.

However, Siddiq's attorney told the Lebanese daily L'Orient Le Jour that his client "has nothing to do with this unknown man." Commenting on Siddiq's statements, former Minister Naji Boustani said: "We know that Siddiq is accused of giving false statements and participating in actions linked to the crime.

"This is why Lebanon asked for his extradition. The verdict by the court of appeals in Versailles strictly deals with the issue of extradition, whether or not it is in conformity with the French Judicial system; the verdict did not mention whether Siddiq is being prosecuted for other reasons in France or not," Boustani stated.

Boustani also said: "We are not against the international authority, but if Siddiq is sure about the authenticity of his statements, why doesn't he put himself at the disposal of the Lebanese judiciary?"

Captain Issam Karam, the attorney of Major General Ali Hajj, said: "Siddiq's statements are worthless," adding that "who delivers a statement and retracts and then reaffirms it again, loses his credibility."

France released Siddiq last week after the French judiciary rejected Beirut's request to extradite him to Lebanon because Lebanon still has capital punishment.
The Daily Star


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home