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 6, 2015

The Daily Star - Hariri attackers mulled ‘alternate’ kill site, October 06, 2015

Ned Whalley

The men who killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri considered an alternate site for the assassination in Zouk Mosbeh, Kesrouan, prosecutors told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Monday. Photographs of the location were shown during the submission of documentary evidence illustrating alleged surveillance of the Future Movement founder. Senior Trial counsel Graeme Cameron presented a series of photographs detailing the route from Hariri’s Beirut home, Qoreitem Palace, to his villa in Faqra. He charged that the Sunni leader routinely made the trip via the coastal highway, before turning up into the mountains at Zouk Mosbeh and heading toward Faraya.

Cameron said the movement and usage of certain cellphones along the route clearly illustrated a pattern of surveillance. Calling the evidence “dramatic,” he said that on multiple occasions, the locations of these phones followed Hariri and the cell signals of his security detail as they traveled up to the mountain residence, remaining there for the duration of the former premier’s stay before tailing his convoy back home.

Cameron showed several photographs of the narrow exit at Zouk Mosbeh, noting that its narrow profile and steep gradient forces traffic to slow considerably. He drew particular attention to the use of “red” phones at the site, a group of numbers the prosecution contends were used solely for the surveillance and planning of the assassination, and charged that their use near the exit indicated it had been considered as a potential location for the attack.

All of the phones in the “red” group allegedly went silent minutes before the bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others on Feb 14, 2005. They were never reactivated.

The STL is trying five members of Hezbollah in absentia for their roles in the assassination. Much of the prosecution’s case relies on the attribution and location of groups of cell phones it contends were used to plan and execute the attack.

After a series of visits around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in late 2004, Hariri reportedly did not return to his villa before his death.

Cameron presented a dozen photographs to the tribunal, a selection of the 62 that were entered into evidence. Apart from the road to Faqra, the photos documented sightlines and access roads around Nijmeh Square and the location of The Holiday Beach Club. Prosecutors say the resort and marina were frequented by defendant Mustafa Baddredine, who allegedly kept his boat there.

The prosecution submitted other evidence that had previously been ruled admissible, including a statement by a man injured in the blast and high-definition satellite photos of Lebanese cities by the Munich-based company European Space Imaging.

Cameron also entered records documenting the times of transactions made at various bank branches using accounts registered to defendant Salim Ayyash. The prosecution said it intends to present these times and locations alongside cell-site evidence, as part of its efforts to attribute certain phones to him.

The tribunal was originally scheduled to hear testimony this week, but the witness was unable to appear for medical reasons. Another witness will begin testimony when the tribunal resumes on Oct. 13.

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