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 1, 2015

The Daily Star - STL witness links purple network number to Oneissi, October 01, 2015

Alexis Lai

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon heard testimony from a man Wednesday who provided evidence linking a purple network number to defendant Hussein Oneissi. The anonymized witness came into contact with Oneissi, known to him under the alias Hussein Issa, from the provision of professional services over approximately 80 appointments from January 2000 to August 2004. The nature of the services was not publicly disclosed, due to the witness’ protected status.

Phone records secured by the prosecution showed the witness’ two office numbers had had 66 calls, and his mobile number had had one call, with the purple number in question, which had been given to him by Oneissi. Analysis also showed the purple number was used on 40 occasions in the vicinity of the witness’ office, 37 of which were on days Oneissi had appointments with him.

The witness said the near-dozen calls with Oneissi after their last appointment on Aug. 21, 2004, were most likely made by his secretary to schedule a follow-up appointment or pursue an unpaid bill. The last time his office made a call to the purple number was on Jan. 28, 2005, two weeks before the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri. He also testified that their appointments were usually in the afternoon as per the request of Oneissi, who told him he was taking morning classes at the Arab University. The witness said their conversations did not involve politics; in fact, if they veered from the purpose of the appointment, they would talk about football.

In a brief cross-examination by Oneissi’s lawyer Vincent Courcell-Labrousse, he testified that he judged Oneissi to be a Shiite Lebanese from his name and accent. Moreover, he said Oneissi did not speak with Palestinian or Gulf accents.

The pointed questions from the lawyer were meant to undercut Tuesday’s testimony from another witness that a man alleged to be Oneissi spoke with a Palestinian accent with Ahmad Abu Adass, who was allegedly coerced by him into filming a false confession.

The tribunal wrapped up three hours early, despite unnecessarily laborious questioning from new trial counsel Sandra Caponecchia that repeatedly drew pointed advice from chamber President David Re.

It will hear Thursday from a new protected witness whose testimony relates to defendant Salim Ayyash.

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