Lebanon News

Forensics expert at STL defends Abu Adass evidence

File - A view of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon building in The Hague. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Thursday heard testimony from Issam Mansour, an expert witness for the prosecution and a specialist in forensic science.

Mansour testified that he received DNA samples from investigators at the crime scene, as well as toothbrushes from family members of Ahmad Abu Adass, a Palestinian man who appeared in a video claiming responsibility for the explosion that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others on February 14, 2005.

Prosecutors maintain that Abu Adass’ claim of responsibility was false, because his DNA was not found at the crime scene.

Defense lawyers for Mustafa Amine Badreddine and Hasssan Habib Mehri, two of the five Hezbollah members accused of plotting the explosion, cross-examined Mansour. Mehri’s lawyer, Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen, quizzed Mansour on the provenance of the toothbrushes, and wondered how he could be sure they actually came from the Adass household.

Mansour said he had not collected the evidence himself.

After Mansour’s testimony, Judge Re adjourned the chamber until July 15.

Additionally, Antonius Abou Kasm, a professor of international law at the Lebanese University, was sworn in to defend journalist Ibrahim Ali al-Amin and his publication, Al-Akhbar newspaper, in a contempt case brought forward by the STL. Amin and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L., the newspaper’s parent company, face obstruction of justice and contempt charges for publishing personal information about alleged witnesses in the Hariri trial.

Amin has stated publically that he would not cooperate with the proceedings. On May 29, he walked out of a hearing, and declared that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the court.

Hezbollah has repeatedly accused the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of being biased.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 04, 2014, on page 4.




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