The Special Tribunal for Lebanon heard Friday further evidence from investigator Gary Platt on the coordination of surveillance networks targeting former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in the lead up to his 2005 assassination. Platt, an expert in covert cellular networks, has testified before the STL for the past several weeks on cell phone data that has been critical to the case. According to the prosecution, named individuals, along with other unidentified participants, planned Hariri’s assassination over the course of several months.
Hariri and 21 others were killed in a bomb blast in central Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005, that wounded a further 200 people.
Though previous testimony by Platt focused intensely on surveillance of Hariri’s Qoreitem residence in Beirut and his villa in Faqra, north of the city, Friday’s questioning by Prosecutor Nigel Povoas emphasized the coordination of these activities.
On several occasions, Platt noted the importance of the unnamed “Subject 6” in ending or initiating different covert activity. Citing two instances of surveillance being called off, Platt explained that “on both occasions, the surveillance of either Faqra Villa or Qoreitem Palace ends after contact between Subject 6 and Ayyash [one of the five defendants].”
This theme of coordination was consistent throughout Friday’s testimony. Platt provided several similar examples, where different members of the alleged conspiracy could be observed – via their phone activity – coordinating meetings, passing information from person to person, or switching surveillance positions.
An example of the latter category occurred on the Dec. 27, 2004.
According to Platt, Subject 6 began moving from Beirut to the Faqra area after a call with Ayyash. In turn, after another call, another unnamed phone – attributed to so-called Subject 7 – began moving back to Beirut.
“The obvious implication is that they’ve swapped positions,” Platt said. “Or Subject 6 is replacing Subject 7 in the area of Faqra and it’s a coordinated movement.”
In addition to the discussion of surveillance, the prosecution and Platt also discussed the potential purchase of SIM cards for the so-called “red network,” in Tripoli.
Platt said the Dec. 28, 2008, was the first time in the indictment period that Subject 6 traveled to the city – allegedly to acquire the cards.
Similar coordination activity is thought to have occurred on this date as well, with Subject 6 allegedly calling the phone attributed to Ayyash in order to relay information.
The tribunal will be in recess for the next week, resuming Monday, Feb. 6.

Source & Link: The Daily Star