STL May Summon Jumblat to Testify as Hamadeh Addresses Syrian Opposition to Taef, Hariri-Lahoud Ties

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MP Marwan Hamadeh resumed on Tuesday his testimony before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, focusing on Syria's hegemony over Lebanon under the premiership of slain PM Rafik Hariri and examining his ties with former President Emile Lahoud.

The ties between Hariri and MP Walid Jumblat came into prominence during the debate over the extension of Lahoud's term in 2004, prompting the STL Prosecution to reveal that it is studying the possibility of summoning the lawmaker to make his testimony before the tribunal.

Hamadeh kicked off the second day of his testimony by addressing the Syrian leadership's opposition to the Taef Accord and attempts to execute the remaining articles of the agreement that were not implemented at the end of the Lebanese civil war.

The MP recounted how he had proposed to Hariri to include the implementation of the remaining articles in a ministerial statement in 2003.

“I had presented to Hariri in 2003 some articles of the accord that had not been implemented, such as Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon, to which the former PM responded, 'Do you want to kill us both?' before throwing the sheet in the trash,” revealed Hamadeh.

“Hariri believed that referring to the Taef Accord in the ministerial statement would be tantamount to a declaration of war against the Syrian regime,” he added.

The lawmaker stated that Hariri had reservations over Syria's influence over Lebanon, confiding to him of the pressure he was under from Syrian officials.

“Hariri was very annoyed with this influence and he used to relay to us the details of his meetings in Damascus and with (Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon) Rustom Ghazali,” he continued.

“I used to meet with Hariri on an almost daily basis and his greatest concern was how to diminish Syria's influence, such as through parliamentary polls,” he said.

In addition, he remarked that Hariri's annoyance with Syria reached a peak when he decided in 2000 to withdraw from political life in Lebanon.

Attention was then shifted to Syria's pressure on the Lebanese press as Hamadeh recounted how the regime sought to “silence free media in Lebanon.”

Following the closure of MTV in 2003, Syrian officials directed their pressure to An Nahar newspaper, of which Hariri was a shareholder.

“Syrian President Bashar Assad used to get upset with the articles of Ghassan Tueni and Samir Kassir, so he sought to close or bankrupt the daily,” he revealed.

To that end, the Syrian leadership ordered Hariri to sell his shares in the newspaper and make individuals he was affiliated with in its board to do the same, stated Hamadeh.

“The Syrian regime sought the bankruptcy of An Nahar newspaper after the closure of MTV in 2002,” he added.

The testimony then tackled Hariri's relationship with Syrian officials between 2003 and 2004 as tensions between the two sides increased amid speculation that Lahoud's term may be extended.

The MP spoke of a meeting Hariri had in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad from which he returned to Beirut with a bloody nose.

He revealed that the premier had left an August 2004 meeting so agitated that he banged his head against his car window in frustration.

The details of the meeting were not disclosed.

Hariri said that he felt humiliated after the meeting, added Hamadeh.

Commenting on the extension of Lahoud's term, the MP said that Hariri had initially rejected the former army chief's election as president in 1998, while Lahoud had later opposed a number of the premier's development projects.

“Coming from a military background, Lahoud probably did not know how a democratic state can be managed and he was also Syria's main man in Lebanon,” continued Hamadeh.

“Furthermore, Lahoud had always turned to Syria to impose a new cabinet and parliament in Lebanon. They were choices we opposed,” he remarked.

“In 2003, we had growing concerns that Syria would seek the extension of Lahoud's term and we attempted to persuade Syrian officials to hold regular elections,” Hamadeh said.

“We soon however began to become aware of Syria's rejection of the possibility of holding regular elections and that the regime sought to extend Lahoud's term,” he added.

“The pro-Syrian media and agencies and Lahoud's entourage made us believe that Syria only trusts the president and will not accept any alternative to the extension,” he explained.

“For his part, Hariri said he would rather cut his arm off rather than sign the decree on the extension,” he revealed.

“As a minister and lawmaker, I completely opposed the extension. The bloc I was affiliated with at the time was not on good terms with Lahoud or the Syrian regime under Assad,” Hamadeh remarked.

The extension, which took place through a constitutional amendment, occurred in September 2004.

Hamadeh recounted the details that led up to the extension and the role of the Syrian leadership and that of Ghazali in achieving its aim.

He recalled how Jumblat had rejected the extension, saying he would discuss the matter with Assad in Damascus to which Ghazali said that there will be no meeting with the Syrian president if he did not head to Syria to discuss the approval of the extension.

Head of Syrian intelligence in Beirut, Jamaa Jamaa, then contacted Jumblat after his meeting with Ghazali to inform him that his scheduled visit to Assad had been canceled, Hamadeh added.

Ghazali told Hariri that the extension “is not open to discussion”, to which the PM replied that he will not head to Syria and that he had “made up his mind on the matter”, he said.

Ghazali then suggested that Hariri head to his Damascus residence and await a meeting with Assad, which the premier rejected, stated the lawmaker.

Hamadeh also confirmed to the STL that the telephone lines of Lebanese officials were wiretapped, saying: “Our lines were tapped and we were being watched for years and years.”

He then recounted how Hariri had sacked head of his security, Ali al-Hajj, following suspicions that he was cooperating with Syrian intelligence.

He spoke of how the slain premier had set up a test to Hajj to verify if he was indeed relaying information to Syrian officials.

He gave Hajj a false piece of information and he soon received a telephone call from Ghazali to inquire about the news, which confirmed Hariri's suspicions that Hajj was working for Syrian intelligence.

“Hajj was sacked, but he was rewarded for his service by being appointed head of the Internal Security Forces,” Hamadeh recalled.

The lawmaker began his testimony in the case of the assassination of Hariri on Monday, focusing on Syria's influence on Lebanon and its alleged complicity in the February 2005 crime.

The MP, who was the victim of an assassination attempt in October 2004, is expected to testify for three to four days.

In addition to the lawmaker, other officials and journalists who were close to Hariri, will testify in court on the former PM's deteriorating ties with Syria, the neighboring country's increasing resolve to have more influence on Lebanon's internal affairs and growing concerns by the international community regarding the foreign political pressure exerted on Lebanon.

The STL, which is based in The Hague, will also hear the evolution of the opposition movement in Lebanon in September 2004, of which Hariri was first silent and then went public. And finally Hariri's influence as a statesman.

In the immediate aftermath of the former prime minister's assassination in a suicide truck bombing in Beirut, suspicion fell on Syria, since Hariri had been seeking to weaken its domination of Lebanon.

Syria has denied any role in the murder, but the killing galvanized opposition to Damascus and led to huge street demonstrations dubbed the "Cedar Revolution,” which forced the exit of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Hamadeh had a leading role along with other politicians from the March 14 alliance in organizing the rallies.

M.T.

G.K.

Comments 43
Missing humble almost 5 years

Dirty Syria....

Missing mohammad_ca almost 5 years

dirty ASSad regime...

Thumb geha almost 5 years

the tribunal is already clear on the perpetrators and those who gave the orders:
the assad regime and hizbushaitan.

Thumb _mowaten_ almost 5 years

yes geha, the tribunal has been "clear" on that before it even started, this is why no objective person trusts it.

a political parody of justice organized by the UN/US/israel against their enemies.

Missing humble almost 5 years

...and is dirty and traitor any Christian who supports Syria.

Missing bigjohn almost 5 years

Hey Zionists: In lebanon ONLY persons who support Israel are considered "traitors" and will be jailed. Lebanon is NOT Zionist run USA. Remember what happened to the SLA. Stop trying to divide us between Christians and Muslims. The lebanese Christians know that this will ONLY hurt the Christian minority and ONLY help the Israeli enemy state.

Thumb geha almost 5 years

the main traitors are those who work with the enemies of Lebanon.
the enemies of Lebanon are: Israel, Iran, the Syrian government, hizbushaitan,SSNP,all other extremists...

Thumb the_roar almost 5 years

so you want to erase facts because the timeline doesn;t suit you, but you want people to focus on accusations that you believe to be true at a time of your choosing?

yes thats accountability alright....lol

Thumb LEBhasNOhope almost 5 years

flamer- you weren't even born in 1990. who are you kidding?

Thumb freedomarch almost 5 years

Very sure you have no clue who is what and where, but yiu are free to say what you want against m14 and expect yourself to be assasinated.

Thumb freedomarch almost 5 years

That prooves your not well balanced, 1990 how old where you? Second, babda was not bombed by Geaga to blame him, the war started when the lunstic desided to eliminate except himself... third the lunatic, sameone, made a deal with the Bucher s os syria while Gesga never backed down and was jailed for it. Fourth, wheather hizEbola or syrian regyme both get ayatolah orders and both are lucky to have you unconditional and unqyestioned support. .

Thumb freedomarch almost 5 years

M14 have no blood in their hsnds

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 5 years

FT, please, who killed Rafic Hariri, Bassel Fley7an, Ramzi Irani , George 7awi, Francois El Hajj, Pierre Gemayel, Samir Kassir, Wissam Eid, Walid Eido, Antoine Ghanem, Gebran Toueni, Wissam Al Hassan, Mohamad Al Chatah and the many other names I did not mention here who were killed before them? Who tried to assassinate Elias Al Murr, Marwan Hamade and Maye Chidiac? FT can you help us with at least a direction as to who killed them? I am sure they did not die by accident did they?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 5 years

Somewhere in 2012, the killings of pro-M14 figures suddenly took a dip, just at the time when the Syrian Regime was fighting for its life in Syria. Is it sheer coincidence or it is the resulting amputation of that arm that broke Rafic Hariri's hand beforehand? FT, any explanation to this if you please.

Thumb nickjames almost 5 years

Phoenix, it took a dip. But the coincidences continued. It just happened after Wissam al-Hassan arrested Michel Samaha that he was blown up in Sassine Square...

Missing humble almost 5 years

Totalky false...it is a crime to make false statements

Default-user-icon zahle1 (Guest) almost 5 years

Bigjohn, I disagree with "ONLY". You can be a traitor if you are not loyal to Lebanon and sell out to another regime. I do agree with you support Israel you are a traitor, but if you are a glorified Syrian agent, arresting the free press, arresting political foes....killing political foes....you are a traitor!

Missing greatpierro almost 5 years

Ok well but it is now Aoun who crawls up to bashar.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) almost 5 years

we want the truth quickly .let the countries that refused to give satellite pics and videos give them to the court and in this way we save time and money and get the culprits hanged sooner rather than later

Thumb smarty almost 5 years

<== reminder

Default-user-icon Abutej (Guest) almost 5 years

I have forgotten how evil was Syria towards Lebanon

Missing bigjohn almost 5 years

What I find interesting here is Hamadeh's POLITICAL dispute (privately) with the Syrian regime ONLY after 2003. Hariri was installed by the Syrian Mukhabarat in 1992. Did the Syrian regime acted like angels between 1992 and 2003? Why did these politicians ALL of sudden (supposevely in private) changed their dedicated support to the Syrian government in 2003 and not prior? Did that have anything to do with the invasion of Iraq and the Zionist American threats towards Syria after the invasion that they are going to be next after the infamous "mission accomplished" speech by Georgie Bush in 2003? Did these leaders changed sides and were privately working with the American invaders against Syria? Off course, there is not enough evidence for this theory, but again this is all private mumbo jumb

Missing bigjohn almost 5 years

This is a political circus where the host would NEVER indict War criminals commited by Israelis and western countries. All of these alleged threats not only can not be proven, but do not prove without a reasonable doubt that who commited the killings. o.

Missing mohammad_ca almost 5 years

please learn proper English or post in Arabic.

Default-user-icon chaTOUNI (Guest) almost 5 years

LOOK there's QAWMIbigjohn RUSHING headlong to CAST doubt ON syrian HEGEMONY by bringing up Israel and the west, although he forgot about thee eastern and soviet block's crimes while he was at it, in a story about the Syrian regime's CRIMES IN LEBANON

Default-user-icon uSam (Guest) almost 5 years

The war in Syria is regrettable, but as the Bible says 'do unto others what you wish done unto you' is exactly what's happening to them because of what they have done to Lebanon in the past

Thumb geha almost 5 years

whatever....
you know you can repeat this song until... but the result remains the same: assad ordered and hizbushaitan executed.

Thumb the_roar almost 5 years

Geha , that's your opinion & nothing more.

Court of law must have enough evidence or proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict....here is your M14ers testifying based on hearsay, which is thrown out & not even allowed in any legit court.

But your not here to find truths...like m14ers your mind has been made up...just like many knew Saddam had WMD ...oops maybe not!

Thumb the_roar almost 5 years

You know how I feel towards the General FT, but I said from day one his wrong about who killed Hariri....My logical conclusion at the time was who would benefit most & who would gain the most from his assassination.....clearly Syria would lose big time as time has proved
They were booted out of Lebanon...Now one must wonder who gained from all of this mess?

all the same I want solid proof as to who killed him & not opinions, even worse listening to hearsay...this is most embarrassing"hearsay"
for crying out loud.

Thumb nickjames almost 5 years

"aoun's opinion was similar when he said assad assassinated hariri"

But wait...he after he allied with Hezbollah, he said it was a shadowy group like Fatah al-Islam hahahahahahahahaha. Then again, during his time in France, he called Hezbollah terrorists lmaooooooooo so funny how a guy can go so 180 on things...

Missing beirutbastard00 almost 5 years

FT you're right... Unless u happen to be a dictator, who's regime is known for killing its enemies, especially in Lebanon. Then yea, if ur enemie was killed, u canto blame me for making u the prime suspect.

Aoun went on tv and blamed Syria, cause he knew what we all knew, they killed harriri. After coming to Lebanon tho, he decided the country is not worth one man (except himself maybe), and moved on from his previous statements on Assad and hizballah. IMHO.

Missing people-power almost 5 years

According to The Bore....

"No legitimate court would allow 'hearsay'"

Hahaha.... what a maroon. Dude, do you claim to be a legal expert? Your stupidity knows no boundary.

Just because you refer to witness testimony as "hearsay" does not make this testimony less important. You only are proving your ignorance.

The court is now considering the motive of the assassins. This requires an understanding of the political background at the time of the murder. You can expect many more witnesses to testify.

Please give an example of even ONE murder trial where the court did not hear witness testimony?

The STL has sufficient proof, independent of witness testimony, implicating the assassins (who happen to be your political allies). You will just have to wait for that information to become public.

Thumb the_roar almost 5 years

People power...I take it you're the legal expert who thought its best to come & clarify for the forum all about hearsay testimony?

heres a note on "hearsay" testimony ...

if the person who made them is unavailable – for instance, if he actually dies. Many courts will not accept these statements in criminal cases, but may still allow them in civil cases.

Stop telling us you have the proof & stop taking hundreds oh millions off the Lebanese people & show us this proof you claim to have.

Missing people-power almost 5 years

Bore.... we are not talking about pre-trial "statements", we are talking about "witness testimony".

How can a witness testify if he is dead?? You really have no clue.

The STL has mountains of proof. I'm shocked that they did not yet share this proof with a high-school dropout like yourself, who lives in his parents basement. You will have to be patient as it will become public in due time.

Please give an example of ONE murder trial where witness testimony was not allowed?

I'm still waiting for that.

Missing humble almost 5 years

Bring the Caporal of Rabiyeh who declared on French TV in 2005 with Ardisson textually that the : "Syrians assassinated Hariri". He repeated this two times with clear assurance.
But this mareed man has now become an agent to Syria....
Followers and brain washed continue to follow... do not stop the destruction of the Christians.

Missing humble almost 5 years

Bring to STL the Caporal of Rabiyeh who declared on French TV in 2005 with Ardisson textually that the : "Syrians assassinated Hariri". He repeated this two times with clear assurance.
But this mareed man has now become an agent to Syria....
Followers and brain washed continue to follow... do not stop the destruction of the Christians.

Thumb freedomarch almost 5 years

What is the story with Zionisim and bigon poison here? Are you saying all the leaders killed because they were Zionists ? I cant count how many times you used this word to justify what?

Thumb zahle1 almost 5 years

To all of my HA friends on here, when you read the above text, does it make you understand why we as "Lebanese" not Syrians, have an issue with the Syrian regime?

Thumb LEBhasNOhope almost 5 years

water under the bridge. :)
the aouniyeh on this page are people that can't live without arguing so that's what they do. It has nothing to do about getting it right or helping Lebanon become a reputable state. It has everything to do with them winning the argument and nothing more.

Thumb nickjames almost 5 years

Lmao yeah sorry I typed to fast

Missing peace almost 5 years

spot on nickjames... you just summed up what FPMers are all about! people with selective memory.....

Thumb whyaskwhy almost 5 years

We keep blaming everyone but Syria here who manipulated most lebanese leadership. Those who opposed it where basicaly done with and history has had a long list of assasination to those who refused at some point to work with syria. Even the SSNP was itself the first victim with antoun s3aadi and now they are Syria's lap dog. Others followed suit and continue to follow until Syria is either tired of them or they stand their ground. Clown himself went through the same evolution and at some point he too would probably join the line....maybe not since he has shown how gutless he is.

Default-user-icon Charbel (Guest) almost 5 years

Just look to the politicians who sold their country in Taef how they are treated by the syrian officers. Really pathetic