On March 25, the pro parliamentary daily Al-Akhbar carried the following report by Jean Aziz: "In theory, the news broadcast by a television station yesterday about one of the individuals being questioned by the investigators of the International Tribunal, seems normal. However, the details carry question marks, and doubts. The news says that the international investigators have carried out an investigation, last Tuesday the 23rd, with an unidentified individual. They brought him handcuffed from one of the capital's streets to their offices at the "Dubai Islam" building in Downtown Beirut. Interestingly enough, the concerned individual was brought in at exactly 11am to the building disguised behind fake mustaches and eyeglasses.
"Around 100 minutes later, the same individual emerged with his face uncovered, [and got in] a Japanese type cab that was waiting for him. The "witness" rode the car from Downtown Beirut to the Charles Helou bus station. There, he exited the car and rode in one of the buses heading to the north. However, as he arrived to the Naher el-Mot area, he left the bus again, crossed the highway, and took for the third time another cab that was waiting for him at the opposite side of the highway and that drove him to the Saint Simon area in the Ramlet al-Bayda in Beirut. There, he left the car and disappeared in one of the tin huts that are randomly built there…[ellipses as published]
"… This incident is linked by concerned parties to the proven matter concerning the summonses being sent from the International Tribunal to the Prosecutor-General's Office and including names of some members that were said to be close to Hezbollah. One official certifies this matter and stresses that the response to the demand to question these [Hezbollah members] was negative with a clear rejection on the part of those "wanted" [members regarding] any appearance in front of the international investigators. The same official goes on to certify that there are negotiations going on now around finding a settlement to this issue…
"The two previous episodes are being connected with the same concerned parties to what is being said about a tendency to revive the scenario of the Der Spiegel accusation. The mentioned scenario has reached several websites that stated that the source [of the scenario] consists of sources knowledgeable of the Hague's work… The mentioned action aims, according to the analyses of the same concerned parties, to achieving a political goal revolving around two levels: the minimal level is a mere confusing of the Lebanese domestic situation… As for the upper level, the bet is to stir Sunni-Shi'i strife… In any case, the concerned parties show extreme interest with these readings, that almost reached the level of concern to the extent that some have started to talk about two hot parentheses that might be opened in Beirut in the upcoming few weeks…" - Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon
Fouad GM is a social scientist, and researcher in Middle Eastern affairs. His writings have appeared on several websites, blogs, newspapers and publications by think tanks and research centres. Follow him on Twitter