A new revelation has just added to the intense scrutiny already aimed at the repressive Assad regime in Syria in the wakeof its bloody efforts to suppress a popular revolt over the past 3 months.
Detlev Mehlis, a German judge who previously headed a UN enquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has gone farther than even before in fingering the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as directly responsible for the murder.
Speaking on German radio:
Detlev Mehlis said Syrian President Bashar Assad “ordered Hariri killed” because he feared the premier was cooperating with France and the US in order to overturn the Syrian regime and disarm Hezbollah.
Mehlis revealed during the interview, which was carried by many local news agencies, that the main reason for the order was UN Resolution 1559, which took aim at Syria.
He said witness testimonies gathered by his commission indicate that “the structure of the Syrian regime does not allow such a crime to be carried out without explicit orders from Assad”.
While it is true that Mehlis’ report from 2005 already fingered the Syrian regime as involved in the assassination, this is the first time he has publicly said that the order came directly from Assad. With EU moves for greater sanctions on Syria currently afoot, Mehlis’ statements can only aid the case of those saying the West must do more to force regime change in Syria.
(via Barry Rubin, who has his own interesting comments on the significance of these revelations.)