The Israeli commission investigating the Beirut massacre today rejected a request from Lebanese Christian militia commander Saad Haddad that he be allowed to reappear before the panel and examine its evidence.
The board of inquiry ruled that since it has not determined that Haddad is "liable to be harmed" by the findings of the investigation he has no right to make a second appearance or to examine the evidence dealing with the massacre of several hundred Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
On Nov. 24, the inquiry board notified nine senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, that they may be harmed by its findings. It gave them 15 days to say whether they wanted to testify again, submit new evidence or cross-examine other witnesses.
Lawyers representing most of the Israeli officials have been reviewing the evidence the panel has already gathered before advising their clients.
Haddad, a former Lebanese Army major who commands an Israeli-supplied militia in southern Lebanon, asked for the same right, saying he already has been harmed by allegations that his men took part in the massacre and may be damaged further by the probe's findings. Haddad has denied the accusation vehemently.