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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July 22, 2016

The Daily Star- Touch witness completes testimony at Special Tribunal for Lebanon, July 22 , 2016

BEIRUT: Protected witness PRH 705 completed his testimony Thursday as the designated representative of the MTC touch cellular network at The Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Touch is one of Lebanon’s two GSM networks, the second of which, Alfa has been represented by PRH 707 – another protected witness. Both networks turned over reams of extensive records concerning billingrecords, call logs and coverage maps at the request of investigators.
Prosecutors have built much of their case against the five defendants accused of conspiring to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on this telecommunications data. Prosecutors argue that the data can be used to retrace the movements of the defendants.
Defense attorney Thomas Hannis, representing the interests of Salim Ayyash, completed his cross-examination of the witness by clarifying comments about some of the documents handed over by the network.
The records were a source of debate at the trial, as defense attorneys contested submitting documents into evidence if the witness could not personally attest to their origin.
Hannis had previously voiced his doubt at a May appearance of PRH 705. “This witness has been placed in a very difficult position. He’s speaking for the community,” he said. “We have a concern that we won’t be able to have fair trial for our clients if we’re not able to have a meaningful cross-examination of the underlying sources of evidence.”
The final appearance of PRH 705 focused on clarifications. “I apologize your honor, this may seem detailed and fiddly, but it won’t take long and may be important for our submission later on,” Hannis said.
After the lunch recess, Prosecutor Fabia Wong took over to ask the witness several questions on records submitted concerning cellphone handsets that prosecutors allege were used by the deceased Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine. Legal proceedings against Badreddine were halted after an Appeals Chamber found there was sufficient evidence that he was killed in Syria in May.
The investigation into controversial telecommunications data will continue with further testimony from Alfa representative PRH 707, however Thursday’s session ended PRH 705 contribution for the time being.
Judge David Re, the Trial Chamber president, highlighted the weight the telecommunications evidence has carried in the proceedings as PRH 705’s testimony concluded.
“[There was a] considerable amount of interest in what you had to say based on the number of questions from the counsel and the bench itself. You’re free to go ... As they say, don’t call us, we’ll call you,” he said.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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