Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Divided UN Security Council finally votes to create Hariri tribunal
Well, it's taken months,but the UN Security Council finally voted to establish the Hariri tribunal to investigate and try the assassins of ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Only took `em close to two years.
Rafik Hariri was murdered, along with 22 other anti-Syrian Lebanese political figures in a bomb blast in Beirut back in February of 2005.
After a preliminary investigation by the UN's investigator Detlev Mehlis, a report was issued back in October of 2005 implicating major figures in the Syrian regime as complicit - a report which none other than Kofi Annan promptly edited to remove the names of five senior Syrian officials from the published version the report, including Syrian Thug-in-Chief Basher Assad's brother Maher and General Assef Shawqat, the president’s brother-in-law and military intelligence chief.
The other three were General Roustum Ghazali, head of special external intelligence and former Syrian military intelligence chief in Lebanon, General Hassan Khalil, liaison between the various Syrian intelligence bodies, and Colonel Mohsein Hamoud, a former military intelligence officer who served in Lebanon.
Since the edited report came out, there's been a stalemate. The Lebanese government couldn't try anyone because of Hezbollah's influence...so finally President Siniora asked the UN to move forward and conduct a trial. That didn't even begin to happen until Kofi Annan was safely out of the building.
The indictment is under Chapter 7 of the UN charter,which makes it binding, rather than advisory. The tribunal would try those responsible for the murder of Hariri and at least 16 other political assassinations of Lebanese politicians and journalists who opposed Syria's military occupation of Lebanon.
The final vote was 15-0, with the usual pro-Islamofacist suspects abstaining - Russia, China, Qatar, South Africa, and Indonesia. They were clinging to the fiction that this was a matter for the Lebanese to determine themselves, and that this was a violation of Lebanon's `sovereignty' - even though President Siniora directly asked the Security Council to handle the matter.
If nations like Russia, China and Qatar `abstained' and didn't block the vote , the evidence on Syria's regime must be pretty conclusive.
Needless to say, the Syrian regime has said that they will not cooperate with the tribunal, and any sort of punishment - like, say, meaningful sanctions - is a remote possibility.
Nevertheless, the truth will finally come out...and that may at least vindicate Hariri and the other victims.