Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed on Wednesday that the investigators -of the UN backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri- requested the fingerprint records of some Lebanese citizens.
In a statement to As-Safir newspaper, Charbel said "I informed them that I cannot evade the legal framework that organizes such requests."
He said that according to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon cooperation protocol, any request like this is denied and must be submitted to the general prosecution directorate.
"They have to submit the request to the general prosecution," Charbel stressed.
On another note, al-Akhbar newspaper pointed out that Charbel accidentally revealed during the information and telecoms session on Tuesday the issue of fingerprints data, also that Lebanon has been the victim of a French company in charge of printing Lebanese IDs.
Also, he uncovered violation to the contract signed between the Ministry of Interior and the French Company ‘SAGIME' since 1996. According to al-Akhbar, the contract states that the company issue Lebanese Identity Cards, file and preserve the fingerprints of Lebanese citizens used for the IDs, a mission that costs the Lebanese treasury 7 million dollars every year.
In March 2011, ex-Interior Minister Ziad Baroud confirmed that he supplied former court prosecutor Daniel Bellemare with the fingerprint records of some Lebanese, noting that it was not possible to give him the fingerprints of all the Lebanese.
Source: Lebanese newspapers, translated and edited by moqawama.org