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 7, 2016

The Daily Star- Hariri bodyguard confirms clandestine meets with Nasrallah, October 07 , 2016

BEIRUT: A bodyguard of late premier Rafik Hariri testified for a second straight day before the STL Thursday. Questioned by Prosecutor Marie-Sophie Poulin, witness PRH101 recounted secret meetings between Hariri and Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah. “As far as I can remember, they would have a meeting once every three months,” he said, his voice altered for security, “but [in December of 2004] they began to meet more often ... twice every 1 days.”
PRH101 was a part of Hariri’s security detail from 1991 until his assassination in 2005.
Defense counselors have contended that the meetings between Lebanon’s former prime minister and the head of Hezbollah serve as evidence of a secret Sunni-Shiite coalition the two men were preparing in the months leading up to the Hariri’s assassination. Four members of Hezbollah are being tried in absentia for his murder.
The prosecution attempted to investigate the nature of a particular rendezvous that took place on Dec. 21, 2004.
Yet, the witness was only able to recount general details about the clandestine meetings, which occurred over several months.
“All of their meetings would take place late at night, finishing at midnight,” PRH101 confirmed.
“We used to drop him off at a tent. There was a curtain that people would go through, so you could not see inside. Each time was a different place; we just dropped him off at a tent and didn’t follow him in,” he added.
Poulin questioned the nature, protocol and details of the meetings throughout the morning session.
“When a meeting was planned, Abu Tareq was told to prepare two cars and not to tell anyone. [Hariri] would choose his own security detail,” PRH101 disclosed.
Abu Tareq, formally known as Yahya al-Arab, was the head of Hariri’s private security team. Abu Tareq would share the same fate as Hariri during the 2005 bombing.
“[Hariri] would be in the lead car, give us a signal and we would follow. When we got to the drop-off, two other convoys would come, and follow him [inside the tent] while we waited. We never followed him. It was the same for the way back.”
Despite his long-term appointment to the former prime minister’s security detail, the witness could not offer any further details.
In the afternoon session, the prosecution attempted to prove that PRH 101 had been alongside Hariri as Hariri began taking trips throughout the country.
“Is this familiar?” Poulin questioned, showing a photo of Hariri’s mountain villa in Faqra.
“Yes,” the witness answered, “That’s his [Hariri’s] house in Faqra. He would go often for Christmas, New Year’s, and when it snowed. Sometimes he would only go for the day and come back to Beirut at night.”
The prosecution interrogated the witness about routes taken by the convoy. Poulin also questioned him about several phone calls made along these routes on Dec. 31, 2004.
“Phone calls would only work sometimes. When we got into the car, the signal was blocked by jammers. I do not recall.”
When the judge asked if the prosecution was content with this answer, one member shrugged, signaling his disbelief, but also his inability to interrogate further.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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