The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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October 28, 2015

The Daily Star - Analysts testify at STL how phone coordinates were established, October 28, 2015

Alexis Lai

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon resumed Tuesday after a weeklong break with prosecutorial analysts testifying as to how they established the map coordinates of locations where the defendants allegedly used mobile phones to plot former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s February 2005 assassination.

The prosecution argued that the location of the defendants’ residences helped confirm the geographic profiles of the mobile phone numbers the men allegedly used, since their map coordinates aligned with those of the call records and cell sites activated by the numbers.

It first took its investigator Toby Smith through his witness statements concerning his work confirming the location of defendants Hassan Merhi and Assad Sabra’s residences.

Smith primarily used land registries and Electricite du Liban subscription information, combined with map data from Google Earth and Beirut mapping company Zawarib. Upon questioning by Merhi’s lawyer, Smith admitted he had never visited Beirut; however, he had regularly dealt with street maps and aerial imagery as a former police officer in the U.K.

Analyst Andrew Fahey, also of the U.K., returned to the stand after testifying in September. The prosecution presented his statements regarding how he had established the map coordinates for eight residences of defendants Merhi, Sabra, Salim Ayyash, and Hussein Oneissi, as well as some of their relatives.

Fahey had essentially used documents from banks, reconstruction claims, the land registry and EDL to triangulate the coordinates onto maps from GeoVision and Zawarib.

He had also established the map coordinates of 144 landmarks relevant to the prosecution’s case, including routes traveled by Hariri’s convoy and other locations allegedly surveiled by the defendants.

To do so, he used both his naked eye and computer software to overlay and reconcile data from the land registry and witness statements onto GeoVision and Zawarib maps.

Upon questioning by lead judge David Re about quality control, Fahey said he had printed out the results on large sheets of paper for closer examination and consultation with the broader team, adding that there had never been dissent.

Fahey also testified that the task did not present any major challenges, noting only small discrepancies between GeoVision and Zawarib maps that could be resolved with software. He added that GeoVision map data took precedence over that of Beirut mapping company Zawarib, as it was based on Geographic information System.

The tribunal, charged with prosecuting the people involved in Hariri’s assassination, continues Wednesday with new witnesses. – Additional reporting by Ned Whalley

Source & Link: The Daily Star

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