debkafile Exclusive: UN Hariri investigator Detlev Mehlis fires his Lebanese spokesman for press leaks. The only associate privy to his work now is

The UN prosecutor is in Vienna working on the final draft of his findings on the murder of Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri last February. His report is due out Friday, Oct. 21. The only other person privy to its contents, according to debkafile‘s exclusive sources, is the UN Middle East Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen. They add that Mehlis has just fired the inquiry team’s Lebanese spokesman Najib Farij – it is believed over leaks to the Lebanese media about the Syrian interior minister Ghazi Kenaan’s reported suicide.
Roed-Larsen arrived in Paris Monday, Oct. 17, officially for talks with Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora but, according to debkafile, to attend a broad-based conference with the senior American, French and Lebanese diplomatic and intelligence officials involved in the Hariri investigation on a common front for the Mehlis report’s publication.
We can reveal here that barring last-minute developments, the report will focus on five main points:
1. The Hariri assassination was not a hastily concocted operation but planned down to the last detail over many months.
2. It was plotted and executed by security and intelligence bodies or groups – not individuals.
3. There are pointers to possible Syrian and Lebanese intelligence involvement, but no legal proofs.
4. The suspected source of the orders to stage the assassination is to be found at high-ranking Syrian and Lebanese levels.
5. Since the report contains findings rather than proofs, the UN prosecutor will request more time to complete his investigation with focus on the Syrian role.
Two further developments in the affair: A key witness, Muhammad Zouhayr Asseddiq, the Syrian intelligence officer who defected to Paris with vital information for the UN and French authorities, was placed in detention by the French police Monday, Oct. 17. His arrest was officially presented as arising from contradictions in his testimony, but intelligence circles close to the investigation believe he was placed in protective custody in advance of the UN report’s publication.

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