JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)
The commission of inquiry into the Beirut refugee camps massacre has summoned Defense Minister Ariel Sharon to reappear before it at the request of another witness, chief of army intelligence Gen. Yehoshua Saguy, a commission spokesman announced today.
Sharon and Saguy were among the nine top Israeli officials notified by the commission last month that they may be harmed if the panel reaches certain conclusions on the basis of their original testimony. The law provides that any person so notified may reappear to give additional testimony, examine the evidence and cross-examine other witnesses.
Sharon informed the commission by letter last Wednesday that he does not intend to re-appear. But Saguy, one of six witnesses who will avail himself of the opportunity, included Sharon among several persons he or his attorney will interrogate.
SECOND ROUND OF HEARINGS TO BEGIN SUNDAY
The commission will begin its second round of hearings next Sunday when former Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur will testify behind closed doors. Gur, now a Labor Alignment member of the Knesset, volunteered to give testimony. He was Chief of Staff during the Israel army’s “Litani Operation” — the invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon in 1978.
The commission disclosed today that it had asked Thomas Friedman, The New York Times correspondent in Beirut when the massacre occurred last September 16-18, to present evidence. On the instructions of his newspaper, Friedman declined. (See P.2.)
The only witnesses who will not re-appear before the panel are Premier Menachem Begin who sent the commission a letter repeating his original testimony, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and Gen. Amos Yaron who was in command of Israeli forces in Beirut during the massacre. Shamir and Yaron indicated that they would submit written material.