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Pivotal Witness in Mehlis Report is a Convicted Swindler

The creditability of one of the key witnesses in special investigator Detlev Mehlis’ report on the Hariri murder case is in doubt. Suheir Sadik is a multiply convicted swindler.

By DER SPIEGEL

10/22/05 "
DER SPIEGEL " -- -- Hamburg – The alleged intelligence agent al-Sadik, 42, on whose testimony a considerable portion of the investigation is based, has been convicted of , embezzlement and fraud, among other crimes. Even within the UN Commission investigating the murder of Lebanon’s former Prime Minster Rafik al-Hariri, which presented its report on Thursday, there is doubt of the credibility of the Syrian witness.

Sources within UN circles say that Sadik had undeniably lied. At first he had claimed to have left Beirut in the month prior to the deed. Then, at the end of September he admitted to having been involved in the implementation of the assassination. Apparently Sadik had received money from a third party for his testimony. According to a statement by his brother, Sadik had called him from Paris in late summer and said “I’ve become a millionaire!”

The skepticism is also nurtured by the fact that the contact to Mhelis was initiated through the Syrian dissident Rifaat al-Assad,, an uncle of President Bashir al-Assad, who opposes the regime in Damascus. Sadik is supposed to have made his apartment in the Beirut suburb Chalda available for several preparatory meetings in which Syrian intelligence officers participated. Sadik himself claims to have collected information for Syrian Intelligence in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps.

The Syrian administration had already made a dossier with incriminating evidence about Sadik available to Western governments weeks ago, which was to show that Mehlis had been had by a notorious Syrian swindler.

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