Hizbullah denies report on involvement in Hariri murder
The German Der Spiegel weekly reported Saturday that investigators believe that Hizbullah was behind ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination in 2005. The Shiite group denies this claim.
"There are signs that the investigation has yielded new and explosive results," the weekly said. "Spiegel has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn," it added.
"Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of … Hizbullah that planned and executed" Hariri's Feb. 2005 murder, the weekly added. According to the report, the tribunal's general prosecutor Daniel Bellemare and other court judges apparently want to hold back the information that they have been aware of for about a month.
It said Security Forces Captain Wissam Eid, who died in an explosion in early 2008, had identified eight cell phones purchased in Tripoli and activated six weeks before Hariri's murder, and were used exclusively for communication among their users.
"According to the Lebanese security forces, all of the numbers involved apparently belong to the 'operational arm' of Hizbullah," Spiegel said. It reported a man called Abd al-Majid Ghamlush, from the town of Rumin, called his girlfriend from one of the phone lines. Ghamlush, according to the German publication is a Hizbullah member. He was also identified as the buyer of the mobile phones. He has since disappeared.
The suspected mastermind of the bombing attack is Hajj Salim, 45, Spiegel said.
Salim is considered to be the commander of the military arm of Hizbullah and lives in Beirut's southern suburbs, it said.
Spiegel said that Hizbullah and its followers were allegedly involved in Hariri's assassination because the former premier's mounting popularity on the expense of Hassan Nasrallah.