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 3, 2015

The Daily Star - STL testimony links Merhi to purple mobile network, October 03, 2015

Alexis Lai

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon heard testimony from a protected witness Friday linking defendant Hassan Habib Merhi to a purple mobile number he allegedly used to help arrange the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

Testifying via video link, the anonymized witness, a senior manager at a Beirut furniture manufacturer, confirmed to the prosecution the detailed contents of the company’s business records related to deliveries to Merhi’s Burj al-Barajneh home in November 2004.

The records, which included invoices and delivery notes for a mattress, mattress pad, and two pillows, listed Merhi’s alleged personal mobile number used among his family members. The purple network mobile number allegedly used by Merhi was also involved in calls related to the delivery.

The order was placed on Merhi’s behalf through one of the manufacturer’s authorized distributors in the southern suburbs owned by a now-deceased Mohammad Assi.

The products were delivered to Merhi’s home on Nov. 24, 2004. The mattress was deemed by Merhi to be the wrong size, and a replacement was delivered two days later.

Merhi’s lawyer Mohamed Aouini briefly cross-examined the witness; in particular, grilling him on which party could have made the call to which party to arrange for a replacement mattress. The witness repeatedly proposed several possible scenarios, but said he could not confirm which had occurred in this case.

Merhi is one of the five members of Hezbollah being tried in absentia for the assassination.

While the prosecution said its witness scheduled to testify through next week was unexpectedly ill, the tribunal will nevertheless convene Monday to address procedural matters.

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