"Al-Akhbar" Lebanese Daily continues publishing "Wikileaks" cables that reveal the extent to which the former Justice Minister Charles Rizk cooperated with the International Tribunal, particularly in terms of arbitrary arrest of the of the four Lebanese officers, as well as the international community's bet on the impact of this tribunal on the stability of the Syrian regime and the possibility of its falling after implicating Syria in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and his companions.
Rizk To Delay Officers' Release
In a cable carrying the number 07BEIRUT1005, issued in Beirut, on July 6, 2007, classified by U.S. Ambassador at that time Jeffrey Feltman, the Minister of Justice Charles Rizk dealt with the theme of "homework of the Special Tribunal."
"Minister of Justice Charles Rizk and Ambassador Feltman met on July 5th, he and PM Siniora agreed to send the latest early next week to the United Nations a list of candidates for judges and deputy public prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon," the cable said.
"Rizk was deeply concerned that the investigative judge in the case of the Hariri's assassination, Elias Eid, who was appointed during what he described as "Syrian occupation," was ordering the release of the four officers imprisoned without charge since the summer of 2005."
"Given the negative impact the release of the four officers on the political fortunes of the "March 14" movements & morals, Rizk will try to use some of the "legal tricks" to delay the release. But he urged the United Nations to appoint a Prosecutor of the Court as soon as possible, so that their fate will rest with the court and its authority," the US document revealed.
Elyse: Syrian Officials Must be Accused
In another telegram under the title "the Elyse: Syrian officials must be accused in addition to Syrian security members," a document issued from US embassy in Paris on September 26, 2005, No. 05PARIS6580, uncovers three meetings to recruit a clear policy for the work of the International Investigation Commission in the assassination of former PM Rafik al-Hariri. "One of the jobs of the German Chairman of the Committee investigation, Detlev Mehlis, is according to French officials, to prepare the ground for the disarmament of Hizbullah," the paper revealed.
As for the employment of these investigations in dealing with Syria, there is unlikely to lead to a coup against the regime in Syria.
In the details, the French diplomat Herve Bazansno stresses during the meetings with U.S. officials in the US Embassy in Paris, and representatives from the French Foreign Ministry and the Elysee (the cable number 05PARIS6580 issued on 26 September 2005) on the need to focus on linking the UN Security Council Resolution number 1559 (2004), which focuses on the disarmament of Hizbullah, by resolution 1595 (2005), which established the International Independent Investigation Commission concerned with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Bazansno said to the Americans: "We have to move in stages, and classify Security Council resolution 1595 priority ahead of resolution 1559. The application of the first helps to prepare the ground for the application of the second, as Hizbullah will lose out justifications for maintaining military strength."
More Sanctions on Syria
The U.S. National Security Advisor Deputy Elliott Abrams held a series of meetings on November 22, 2005 with senior French officials, including the Elyse adviser for the Middle East, Dominique Bush, and the French PM's diplomatic advisor Christophe Farno as well as Herve Bazansno from the French Foreign Ministry, and others, to discuss regional issues, and to focus on Syria, Lebanon, Iran and other issues.
According to the details of the meeting (05PARIS8072, Date 11/29/2005) "Bush was sure that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not cooperate with the President of the International Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Detlev Mehlis because such cooperation could affect the stability of the system that does not differentiate between the Syrian security services and Bashar's family."
Bush stressed, according to a record, that "the Security Council's failure to respond to the lack of Syrian cooperation by Syria make the Council loses its credibility."
Bush proposed UN sanctions aimed at suspects identified by the Commission of Inquiry, "Let's go further, to join Syrian officials from a higher level, in addition to formal institutions such as the Syrian army and security services and the Baath Party," former US President was quoted.
French Priorities: Investigation above Human Rights
A political official at the U.S. Embassy in Paris discussed with the French diplomat Bazansno Herve (French Foreign Ministry) in the November 18, 2005 the issue of the Syrian authorities arresting to the Syrian democratic activist Kamal Lubani. According to the details of the meeting (05PARIS7922 Date November 21, 2005) the French position on this issue was as the following: "Despite the problem of the human rights situation in Syria, the French government doesn't see the need to turn the arrest of Lubani into a big issue, especially in light of the tense political atmosphere tense."
The French official added that "there are more important priorities to the French Government such as the Chairman of the International Commission of Inquiry Detlev Mehlis' investigations in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri."
Source: al-Akhbar newspaper