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Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

Revealed: how Syria failed to co-operate with Mehlis

"It has been after much hesitation and procrastination that the Syrian authorities finally agreed to move on the request to interview five Syrian officials - whom the commission considers as suspects - in Vienna under conditions determined by the commission." Detlev Mehlis, UN Investigator in a speech to the UN Security Council, explaining in what way Syria 'failed to co-operate'.

By requesting that the UN interrogate the suspects outside Lebanon - which Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora also requested - Syria 'failed to co-operate'.

Siniora's request bears zero weigth in the issue. Syria was required to cooperate with the commity and not with the lebanese government.

"By requesting that the UN interrogate the suspects outside Lebanon Syria 'failed to co-operate'."

You can debate that all you want, I think that sentence makes lots of sense, maybe you don't, but I fail to see how the -after the fact- opinion of seniora on the matter changes weather syria's orginal stance can be seen as non cooperation.

Other people would even could argue that siniora's stance lead the intl. commitee to overlook syria's non cooperation in order to get out of the deadlock that was happening due to syria's position :-)

Let's not forget Mehlis wanted to interview an extra person and Syria did not accept that.

First - Siniora demanded that the interviews take place outside his country BEFORE the interviews.

Second - Mehlis requested FIVE interviews and got five, Syria accepted all of his demands in the end, that's the point. Read the report, there's no mention of a sixth person being turned down. (Although it's true that he did mention six people in his first report).

The Mehlis Commission was set up to establish the truth. The truth is the most important thing. That's what Mehlis is getting paid for. If he fails to interview someone because they say they want to go to Vienna not Beirut, then he's failed in his job. He came very close to doing that before some prodding from Kofi Annan's office.

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