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Right of reply – Fahmi Shabana

Feb. 12, 2010 9:54 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2010 9:19 P.M.)
Concerning what was published by Ma'an News Agency's chief editor, Nasser Laham, in regard to the latest corruption scandal ["Husseini must resign," 11 February 2010], I would like to offer the following response:

Firstly: It's true that the Israelis are the last who can speak of moral and financial corruption.

Secondly: I did nothing with the tapes in my possession until the official directly responsible abandoned me. After I delivered them to President Abbas, he took no action against Rafiq Al-Husseini and indeed promoted him, which increased his arrogance, and I became the target of defamation from several parties.

Thirdly: I did not initially approach the Israeli media, only after I lost hope [in Arab media]. I sent a letter to [Al-Jazeera anchor] Ahmad Mansour via Al-Jazeera correspondent Walid Al-Omari on 25 December 2009 regarding the necessity of broadcasting the truth about Rafiq Al-Husseini, vowing to go to the judiciary. I also went to [Arabic satellite channel] Al-Hura, in particular [network editor] Majdi Al-Halabi, and provided him with the information at the same time I went to the Israeli television network Channel 10.

Fourthly: The Office of the President responded to what was published in a way that confirmed the administrative corruption of those who are working in the president's office. They said they fired me two years ago, to which I respond by saying:

1) These statements are totally untrue.

2) The Rafiq Al-Husseini episode occurred in June 2008.

3) Rafiq misled President Abbas about what happened.

4) I was suspended for 10 days through a decision taken by President Abbas, after he was contacted by [deputy intelligence director] Ibrahim Al-Masri Tawfiq At-Tirawi, who was abroad. I was not detained at all.

5) I received a salary for January 2010 just 10 days ago. I have the vouchers for these paychecks.

6) After President Abbas reviewed the facts that I told him, and after I delivered copies of the tapes that revealed the lies and fabrications of Rafiq Al-Husseini, I was back at work on 31 November 2008 at Abbas' request.

7) I was also promoted as head of intelligence in the West Bank's northern district on 21 December 2008.

8) That I returned to my post infuriated Rafiq Al-Husseini, so I found myself imprisoned in an Israeli jail for a month and a half, after which they imposed house arrest from 4 January 2009 until just recently.

9) After the Al-Husseini story came to light, Israel demolished part of my house, which is in At-Tur, East Jerusalem.

10) The Palestinian general intelligence and the PA didn't help me [after I was arrested by Israel] by hiring a lawyer, paying legal fees, or paying expenses related to my house arrest, which resulted in my having to sell my home to cover the costs of the case and the arrest.

11) I wrote President Abbas four letters, two others to the prime minister, another to the Fatah movement's court [established by Abbas for inter-party matters], three letters to Ahmad Qurei (Abu Ala), a letter to [PA Housing Minister] Muhammad Ishtiyah, and letters to the head of each security department and a plethora of other officials, knocking on doors to no avail. I still have all this correspondence.

12) Concerning my posts, I was only the legal advisor for the intelligence services in the West Bank, then head of the legal department, general inspector for public intelligence, head of the corruption department, and head of the Jerusalem's governorate "civil post." After Rafiq's incident, I was appointed head of security for general intelligence in the West Bank, where I remained until the date of my arrest by the Israelis on 12 January 2009.

After all this suffering, I was convinced that the corruption would not be changed through correspondence, letters or appeals. I did what I had to do, which is much less than what could be published. But I will not waver from what I've committed to doing, and will host a press conference on 28 February 2010 in the event that no procedures are taken against those whose names I gave to President Abbas.

Best regards,

Fahmi Shabana At-Tamimi

Jerusalem, 12 December 2009
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