Unforgivable scandals in Mehlis' Report
Syria News proves that Mehlis added, and deleted, material in order to generalise the suspicion to include the whole Syrian regime
Why shall we trust in you Mehlis?
Do we have the right to wonder why Mr. Mehlis'; the international investigator in Hariri's assassination deleted the names of the Syrian officials from the original draft of his report, adding the phrase " there is converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in this terrorist act " to the final draft report submitted to the UN.
We have the right to wonder as well why he deleted a whole sentence saying that "Certain Lebanese media had the unfortunate and constant tendency to spread rumors, nurture speculation, offer information as facts without prior checking and at times use materials obtained under dubious circumstances, from sources that had been briefed by the Commission, thereby creating distress and anxiety among the public at large and hindering the Commission’s work when the focus should have been mostly on security issues", and we can wonder as well whether Mr. Mehlis was present during the amendment operation to the original draft.
But, if we would look at the report with the eye of suspicion, then the question we will be asking is; Who carried out the amendments? And then we would say to Mehlis –as one journalist did during his press conference dedicated to justify the amendments-: why shall we believe you Mehlis?
The original draft of Mehlis' report doesn’t include paragraphs 7,8,9, and 10 which has been attached to reflect Mehlis' vision for Harari's assassination crime. This particular information has been appended to the report when Mehlis went to the US, moreover, the date of carrying out this additions corresponds to the date of eliminating the names of the Syrian officials that he commented about the reasons of removing their name in his press conference.
Despites of the that the names of the Syrian officials wasn't of a great importance compared to other amendments, it is worth mentioning that Mehlis added his vision within only two minutes of the time it took him to "fine-tune" his report which was exactly 3 hours and 21 minutes on October 20th, 2005 according to Mehils'. The most significant insertion is calling the assassination a "terrorism act" which is rather a political definition than technical if we take into our consideration that Mehils' task was criminal investigation which is expected to be objective, even if the aforementioned definition comes inline with the European – American anti terrorism effort.
These added paragraphs are: “
7. It is the Commission’s view that the assassination of 14 February 2005 was carried out by a group with an extensive organization and considerable resources and capabilities. The crime had been prepared over the course of several months. For this purpose, the timing and location of Mr. Rafik Hariri’s movements had been monitored and the itineraries of his convoy recorded in detail.
8. Building on the findings of the Commission and Lebanese investigations to date and on the basis of the material and documentary evidence collected, and the leads pursued until now, there is converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in this terrorist act. It is a well known fact that Syrian Military Intelligence had a pervasive presence in Lebanon at the least until the withdrawal of the Syrian forces pursuant to resolution 1559. The former senior security officials of Lebanon were their appointees. Given the infiltration of Lebanese institutions and society by the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services working in tandem, it would be difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such a complex assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge.
9. It is the Commission’s conclusion that the continuing investigation should be carried forward by the appropriate Lebanese judicial and security authorities, who have proved during the investigation that with international assistance and support, they can move ahead and at times take the lead in an effective and professional manner. At the same time, the Lebanese authorities should look into all the case’s ramifications including bank transactions. The 14 February explosion needs to be assessed clearly against the sequence of explosions which preceded and followed it, since there could be links between some, if not all, of them.
10. The Commission is therefore of the view that a sustained effort on the part of the international community to establish an assistance and cooperation platform together with the Lebanese authorities in the field of security and justice is essential. This will considerably boost the trust of the Lebanese people in their security system, while building self-confidence in their capabilities.”
the most important and the most serious amendments in Mehlis' report adopted by the UN that started at 11:38 a.m. until 2:59 p.m. on October 20th, 2005 according Mehlis' laptop time are:
at 11:40 a.m.
deletion of the word "political" from the title of the incident background motioned in the context of the report
clause 78: the idea of that AL-Jazeera news staff sent by Mr. Ben Jeddou “who at first could not find it” and then came back and found the videocassette.., the amended version mentioned that “Mr. Ben Jeddou sent a colleague to locate the videocassette. Eventually, a white envelope containing a type-written detailed statement and a videocassette was found.”
clause 95: Mehlis deleted the closing quotation mark and added the following to the telephone conversation between the General Ghazali and the so called Mr. X in which Mr. X says: " Let’s go for it.". And you can go back to this paragraph if you want to figure out why Mehlis wanted to remind about the confirmation of Mr. X to carry out the agreed with Ghazali…)
clause 96: mehlis worked only two minutes on this paragraph only, and deleted the names of the untitled officials “Maher Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamil Al-Sayyed” replacing them with "Senior Lebanese and Syrian Officials" then he continued the replacement operation keeping the context of the text when mentioning any of the names.
If we ignore the contradiction among the statements talking about the planning for the operation, Mehlis realised, deleting this names, that its disclose will add no asset since there is no solid evidence against them, and realised that if he points to these people directly, he will raise a lots of suspicion around himself.
deletion of “branch 251” from clause No. 100
Restructuring Clause 104, and appending “Paragraphs 105 to 110 set out the main points of Mr. Saddik’s statement.”
Changing the sentence “a report that he said was drafted by Nasser Kandil” to “a report that he said was drafted by Nasser Kandil” in clause No. 105
In clause No. 107 In the context of commenting on the statement of General Ghazali, Mehlis added “other” to the “witnesses” , and thus the clause will look like “The version given by General Ghazali of this meeting is not compatible with the information given by other witnesses to the Commission.”
Mr. Mehlis is treating General Ghazali as a witness, not as a suspect as some media sources promote.
Clause 123: Mehlis worked on this clause for tow minutes only changing it from interrogative “what is the probability for a third party to undertake” to predictive sentence “there is little probability that a third party would undertake surveillance and monitoring measures against Mr. Hariri for more than a month prior to the blast… without the knowledge of the competent Lebanese authorities” and deleting the question mark at the end of it!
Deleting clause 125 completely and renumbering the rest clauses all over again. The old clause 125 looked like;
“Mr. Rafik Hariri’s telephone lines were constantly under wire-tapping. The measures were undertaken by the Army Intelligence in cooperation with representatives from the Surete Generale. The protocols were forwarded on daily basis to General Raymond Azar, General Michel Suleyman and General Jamil Al-Sayyed. Mr. Azar also forwarded the protocols to the President of the Lebanese Republic and to the chief of the Syrian Intelligence Service, who was Ghazi Kanaan and then Rustum Ghazali. No documentation on this topic has been found during UNIIIC investigative measures.”
Did Mr. Mehlis deleted this clause since he doesn’t have any evidence to prove it? and if so, then how comes he jumped into the conclusion at the end of clause 126 that “the Syrian and Lebanese security and intelligence services were kept informed of his movements and contacts. “ whereas Mr. Mehlis himself wrote that he couldn’t acquire any evidences on wire-taping Mr. Hariri’s telephone.
Mehlis added that Hariri’s cavalcade has be delayed in clause 139. Mehlis wrote: “It should be noted that because the motorcade was delayed at a T-junction, for a short while”
At 12:40 clause 141
Mehlis replaced “it is concluded” with “UNIIIC determined that Mr. Hariri was under surveillance at least one month prior to the blast”
The word “CONFIDENTIAL” has been deleted from the top of the report
Clauses 7,8,9, and 10 were added.
From the sequence of the amendments, it is admissible that Mehlis added 4 four clauses following a discussion with Mr. Kofi Anan within only three minutes, nevertheless, it is noticeable that describing the “criminal act” as “terrorist act” is not just a distraction of a investigating magistrate in normal situations.
At 12:53 clause 206
Mehlis changed his recommendation that “the Lebanese authorities should look into all the case’s ramifications including bank transactions Al-Madina bank transactions” deleting the Bank’s name and thus making the investigation more general.
- Deleting the word “POLITICAL” from the title “II. POLITICAL BACKGROUND”
To avoid mentioning any word related to politics in the context of the report
At 12:55 clause 16
The following sentence has been deleted;
“Certain Lebanese media had the unfortunate and constant tendency to spread rumors, nurture speculation, offer information as facts without prior checking and at times use materials obtained under dubious circumstances, from sources that had been briefed by the Commission, thereby creating distress and anxiety among the public at large and hindering the Commission’s work when the focus should have been mostly on security issues.“
Mehlis removed his complaints that some Lebanese media hindered the work of the committee and that it distracted its work by publishing roomers and misleading information as facts on regular basis.
At 12:55 clause 17
The following sentence has been deleted “However, a number of Lebanese political figures added to the climate of insecurity and suspicion, by leaking information to the press, or by revealing sensitive data without the prior consent of the Commission.”
- A group of spelling corrections took place such as the addition the title “Mr.” to the names of Walid Jumblat, and Saad Hariri. In clause 26.
- also replace all operation took place in to replace Rustum Ghazali with General Ghazali.
At 13:35 clause 27
In the statement of Syrian Foreign Minister he added the title “Mr.” to the name of Rafik Hariri which remained without title in the context of the report so far.
Could we consider this as amendments to the Syrian Government’ official note even if the word wasn’t of a significant importance?
At 14:15 clause 164
Mehlis changed the sentence “On the contrary, the picture of a tense relationship between Mr. Hariri on one hand and President Lahoud and the Syrians on the other., have been strengthened” to become “This information has reinforced a picture of a tense relationship between Mr. Hariri on the one hand and”
Added the title “Mr.” to “Abu Adass”
Does it add any objectivity to the report?
At 14:28 clause 172
Deleting the statement of Ahmad Abu Adass’s mother saying that “She recalled that Ramadan was sent shoLTRy before her son disappeared nearly every day from his work to Tripoli.”
At 14:40 clause 182
Mehlis deleted the attribute “shadowy” when talking about the assumed relation of the Syrian authorities to the disappearance of Ahmad Abu Adass, asserting the relation. Furthermore, replacing the ending conclusion from “these repeated connections to Syria bear comment.” to “… bear further investigation.”
At 14:42 clause 190
Mehlis replaces “the Syrian Jamea Jamea” to “the Syrian intelligence officer Jamea Jamea.”
In the context of the comment to the clause 195 where Mehlis discussed the possible relation of the six Australians to the incident he changed the sentence “His basis for voicing them is unclear. ” when talking about Mr. Addoum’s suspicions to become “The pursuit of this line of investigation distracted the Lebanese authorities from following other lines of investigation.”
At 14:46 clause 204
Mehlis retracted from pointing to AL- Madina Bank when he discussed Money Laundering as possible motive of the assassination.
More comments… lets see:
1- the original draft of the report contains a lots of grammatical, and linguistic mistakes, which simply couldn’t be made by an English proficient, such as the use of “ were” instead of “was” or the continuous misspelling of “aouare” instead of “aware” and other.
2- The continuous misuse of definite articles, such mistakes couldn’t be made by English proficient, whereas the last moments revisions were made by an English proficient; to be precise, the revisions that took place during the last three hours before publicizing the report.
3- These revisions took place at the same time of adding the mass changes in the context; which means that Mehlis was present during the review.
4- One of the eye-catching corrected mistakes is the wrong spelling of the definition “surete general” which Lebanese write in French as “Sûreté Générale” and so the English term was not understandable, until this definition was changed back to French “Sûreté Générale”; so shall we say that the proofer was a French proficient as well?
5- If Mehlis was introduced as English and French proficient, and thus, Mehlis could have made these corrections himself, then, how comes he left these mistakes in the final draft which could have been publicised without corrections, unless a decision has been made to commit core changes to the report in the last moment.
6- Mehlis started corrections at 11:38 and finished at 14:59. First of all he rapidly corrected the title of Secretary General of UN in clause 6, and then followed by rapid grammar, and spelling corrections, the first serious change was the deletion of the word "Political" from the title "Political Background", the purpose of deletion of this word shouldn't be strange to those who are following up this case.
7- The swiftness of the following corrections to the core of the text shows that Mehlis knew what he was doing, and for a very good reason. The whole four clauses added to the executive summary, including the most decisive findings that turned the whole report around, and which pointed to " Involvement of Lebanese and Syrian Intelligence" where added within 2 minutes, this means that these clauses hasn't been composed by Mehlis but dictated to him or inserted from somewhere outside. Moreover, the swiftness of linguistic corrections points to the fact that somebody else was proofing the text.
8- One of the journalists face Mehlis after leaking the original file to clarify the reason of having two versions of the report, and that changes took place during his meeting with Anan before submitting the final draft, and was positive that "changes took place at Anan's room" as Mehlis' Computer time shows, Mehlis simply answered:"I don't have an idea about the time, whether you belie or not, it is your business", then one of the journalists asked him : "why shall we believe you?"
9- Mehlis didn't provide any details about his meeting with Syria's representative at the UN Faisal Al-Mikdad who met him at the airport as soon as he arrived in New York, and pointed to the meeting that it is a regular meeting as any meeting takes place at the UN.
And thus we can conclude the following from the corrections
1- the swiftness of corrections proves two points; firstly, the report has been rapidly prepared at the US after some unsatisfied party received his draft, and this explains the rapidity of the amendments to the report and leads to the second point which is the assumption that no body affected Mehlis during composing his report, otherwise, the amendments would have been added at once, and not in the tense atmosphere of the last moments before the disclosure.
2- We can be sure that it wasn't mehlis himself who amended the report, bu he was present during the operation because
a. It is supposed that Mehlis himself should have proofed the text before arriving in the US, whereas the proofing operation has been conducted in the US, and with one session, so did Mehlis found all the mistakes in one time?
b. The stile of writing differs from the stile of the original draft; Mehlis used the title Mr. for all, but in the final draft, the correct military, and intelligence definitions where used in the right places.
c. It is clear that Mehlis, deleting, appending, and correcting, knew that he is generalising the accusations on the whole Syrian regime; deleting the names of senior officials mentioned by the witness is a definite proof of that he didn't have any supportive evidences except the statement of his witness who mentioned during the questioning session that the assassination has been planned, whereas another witness motioned that planning took place in Lebanon. And so he deleted the names, and kept the suspicion to be in general.
d. we can notice that many important conclusions where interrogative but has become solid facts in the final draft.
The last question is why Mehlis suspicious report was leaked? By whom? And for whose sake?
Al Ayham Saleh – George Kaddar
Syria News in correspondence with Syria Mirror
Translated By Truly Syrian