BEIRUT: The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) said the transfer through Israel of computers used by a commission probing former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination was “normal,” in response to accusations by Hezbollah that this movement of equipment exposed bias in the investigation.
Deputy Chief Liaison Officer Richard Hauser said that the UNTSO has in its custody the computers, which belonged to the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC).
Referring to Hezbollah’s accusations that some computers belonging to the commission were transported through Israel from Lebanon’s Naqoura border crossing, Hauser said that “the computers were being duly transferred to other missions related to the U.N.”
He added that the process was “a normal operation within the U.N.”
Hauser said the computers belonged to the UNIIIC, which ended its mission in 2009.
However, he added that “the computers belong to the U.N. and were sent to the UNTSO office and are still kept with it until today.”
The deputy chief liaison officer also said the hard drives of the computers were removed and destroyed after the mission of the Rafik Hariri investigation commission ended.
“The transport of the [computers] was done transparently and on the basis of [protocol],” he said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 08, 2011, on page 1.