Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Friday, November 25, 2005

More Info on Mehlis’ Alleged Witness No. 1

It’s been a couple of days since New TV’s broadcast, and an eerie silence still lingers on this topic. There haven’t been even posts or articles spoofing and ripping into Hosam Taher’s claims, and certainly nothing by way of a denial from either the Mehlis team or the Hariri camp.

Why is this story so radioactive?

But regarding Charl Ayoub, we now know why he hasn’t commented yet on this story: he’s been busy being interrogated by the Mehlis team. I wonder if they are asking him about his source on Mehlis’ ‘yacht outing’ in October

Again, add the word 'allegedly' where approporiate...

More info from the Elaph story: Elaph’s correspondent in Beirut, Elie Elhagg, seems a bit biased against the story, for he chose to use epithets such as “close to the Syrian regime,” “sensational” and “skeptical of the Mehlis report” to describe New TV.

The claim is made that Hosam was taped without him knowing it.

But Elhagg put in direct quotes from Hosam Taher Hosam, who was shown speaking to someone called ‘Zahra’, such as:

“You need to know that 23 or 25 thousand dollars is a small amount. If I wanted to make a business out of this, you know Aljazeera or Alarabia would pay 200 or 300 thousand dollars…why all this explanation? [owner of New TV] Tahseen Khayat is a billionaire, would this sum affect him? You’ll get a scoop that everyone’s been waiting for...”

“…I think this whole topic will land on my head. If the Syrians don’t liquidate me then the Americans will, and if they don’t then the Islamic terrorist group will do the job, they might do it and stick it on the Syrians…I stand before death.”

Hosam claims to have been debriefed by the FBI, who offered him money and US citizenship in return for information on Syria’s secret weapons programs. He also claims that witness no. 2, Zuhir Saddik, was at the scene of the crime when it happened and is in possession of a 4 minute 50 second video tape. This may be the ‘information’ that is referenced in the Mehlis report in point no. 114: “At the present stage of investigation, a certain amount of information given by Mr. Saddik cannot be confirmed through other evidence.”

Hosam claims that "Mr. X" is Nabih Berri. This last claim must have been made after the Mehlis report was published, whereby it denoted the role of a certain Mr. X.

More info from the SyriaNews story: this is, of course, a Syrian governmental media outlet. They add that, according to New TV, Hosam Taher Hosam was born on August 11, 1975.

[Note: the name in Arabic is spelled in a peculiar way, and if Iraqi cultural parameters are also the standard for Kurds in Syria, then the name Hosam as spelled in the report would indicate a Yezidi faith. Would appreciate corrections if I’m mistaken.]

Hosam had told New TV plenty of information that they did not air and that he claims to have shared with the Mehlis investigation. Oddly, he gives the tag number for Brigadier General Jumaa Jumaa’s car, 1831983 BMW 318, that he says was parked in front of “Tazej” restaurant in ‘Ain el-Mereeseh approximately 45 minutes before the blast that killed Hariri.

Zuhir Saddik: the 'witness' that may have duped Mehlis...

Hosam also alleges that the claim about the suicide bomber believing that he was targeting Iraq’s then Prime Minister Ayad Allawi was not true. This claim is attributed to Saddik in the Mehlis report.

Here’s a question: did Hosam and Saddik ‘mingle’ during this investigation? Did they know each other previously? When was the first time they met? And how on earth would the Mehlis team allow them to cross paths, and pave the way to accusations of allowing the two to get their stories ‘in sync’?

Why haven’t we heard a denial from the Mehlis camp? Or the Hariri camp? Or the Junbulatt camp?


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