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STL: Donaldson argues three phones tied to Badreddine.

Summary: Prosecution analyst Andrew Donaldson argued that "Personal Mobile Phone 663," "PMP 354" and "Sequential Mobile Phone 944" all belonged to Mustafa Badreddine, one of the indicted suspects, at Thursday's hearing of the Special Tribunal of Lebanon.

BEIRUT: Prosecution analyst Andrew Donaldson argued that "Personal Mobile Phone 663," "PMP 354" and "Sequential Mobile Phone 944" all belonged to Mustafa Badreddine, one of the indicted suspects, at Thursday's hearing of the Special Tribunal of Lebanon. Using the cellular phone investigation strategy of co-location, Donaldson attempted to prove that the multiple phones were used by a single user.

Donaldson has authored several reports attributing cellular devices to the indicted suspects of the 2005 Beirut bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. In his reports, Donaldson tried to prove that multiple cellular phones belonged to the same user, based on the cellular phones' activation of cell phone towers.

Detailing calls from PMP 663 and PMP 354 that used the same cellphone towers, Donaldson explained that this "geographical footprint" of calls in close proximity within minutes is evidence that both devices were operated by the same person.

According to Donaldson, 79 percent of 3,225 calls related to PMP 663 and PMP 354 that occurred within 10 minutes of each other were less than 1 km apart. In previous hearings, Donaldson claimed that PMP 663 belonged to Badreddine.

"Based on the number of times that [the activation relevant cellphone towers] occurs, I believe that [it] is indicative of a single user," Donaldson told the chamber.

The expert claimed that the majority of calls took place in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Jounieh, two areas the prosecution alleges Badreddine resided in the years surrounding the 2005 Beirut bombing.

Donaldson also cited text messages as evidence supporting the alleged link between Badreddine and the cellular phones. He included an example of a text message from PMP 663 on the day Badreddine's sister-in-law passed away.

"I'm so busy, a relative of mine passed away," the outgoing text message read.

Again, drawing upon evidence found from text messages and call records, Donaldson showed that contacts found on PMP 663, PMP 354 and SMP 994 included several members of Badreddine's family, Hezbollah associates and Samino -- a jewelry store where Badreddine's alleged alias, Sami Issa, worked.

Though Badreddine was originally indicted for allegedly taking part in the 2005 attack assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, charges against the Hezbollah commander were dropped following his widely reported death in Syria in May 2016.

The significant evidence supporting his involvement in the conspiracy forced the trial to continue proving his connection, as Badreddine is also closely linked with the four remaining suspects.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 7, 2017
Words:461
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