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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March 9, 2017

The Daily Star- Platt details preparation for Hariri assassination, March 09 , 2017

BEIRUT: Gary Platt’s testimony at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Wednesday detailed more surveillance of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in the days immediately leading up to his assassination.
Hariri, along with 21 others, was killed in a bomb blast in downtown Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005.
As in previous testimony, Platt’s evidence was primarily drawn from cellular data that forms the basis of the prosecution’s case.
Throughout the proceedings, lawyers have used the movements of cellphones attributed to the five defendants to track the alleged plot leading up to the assassination.
According to Platt, much of the cellphone activity on Feb. 8 through 11 of 2005 was dedicated to further surveillance of the coastal road and area around the St. Georges Hotel where the assassination eventually occurred. “It’s a clear area of importance that you’d need to survey,” Platt said. “You’re not just looking for people coming and going – it’s surveilling the location itself, the security features of the location, cameras, security guards and the density of population and movement during certain time periods.”
He also noted that specific activity around this area was evidence that the conspirators had already selected it as the site of the final attack. “If you look at it, the level of interest in this area is quite apparent,” he said. “It’s consistent with the theory that, by this point, they’d settled on this venue. The attack [was] only six days away. They [had] to start making final decisions.”
By his account, the level and concentration of cellular activity demonstrated this fact. “It was then just a matter of determining the final details – including significant security features and the ease of parking a vehicle with explosives,” he said.
Later in the day, prosecutor Nigel Povoas also made reference to the so-called east of airport phones that were discussed several weeks ago. Though he continued to be evasive over their significance, he noted that they were still a “vital part of the story and the picture that emerges.”
He also made a point of connecting the usage of phones in that area to similar calls made from the Mreijeh area south of Beirut. Once again, Povoas failed to detail the exact connection – though in previous testimony, Platt had noted that the defendants may have used the Mreijeh area to store the vehicle-borne explosive device eventually used to kill Hariri.
The tribunal will resume sessions Thursday.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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