Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Monday, September 16, 2019
Monday, March 11, 2019
The annual report details the activities of the Tribunal from 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019, its objectives for the coming year and highlights the achievements of the four organs: Chambers, Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), Defence Office and Registry.
Chambers report that the trial proceedings in the Ayyash et al. case constituted their main public judicial activities. During the reporting period, the Oneissi Defence presented their case, the Trial Chamber ordered the attendance of one witness under Rule 165 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and most notably the Trial hearings concluded with closing arguments being heard by the Trial Chamber between 11 and 21 September 2018. The report stresses that "the closing arguments affirmed the important and incomparable role the Tribunal plays in ensuring the perpetrators of the 14 February 2005 attack are not shielded by impunity". The Trial Chamber is now reviewing the evidence before it and deliberating as to whether the Prosecution had proven its case against the four Accused beyond reasonable doubt. It also mentions that the precise timing of the judgment will depend upon the complexity of the legal and factual issues subject to the Trial Chamber's confidential deliberations.
The Prosecutor highlights the significant achievements by his Office during this period. Following the conclusion of the evidence, the Prosecution filed a Final Trial Brief and presented its closing arguments in the Ayyash et al. case against the individuals accused of criminal responsibility for the attack against former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The report also gives account of the additional achievements and progress in meeting the broader mandate of the Office of the Prosecutor, which continue far beyond the end of closing submissions; it describes the continued investigations and extensive other work, much of it behind the scenes in relation to all cases within the OTP's jurisdiction, the three connected cases, the assessment of potentially related cases as well as the preparations for potential appellate response to the judgement in the Ayyash et al. case. At the same time, the Office of the Prosecutor is prepared to move forward quickly when the updated confidential indictment is refiled.
The Defence Office reports on its continued operational, financial support as well as legal assistance to the Defence teams in the Ayyash et al. case. In line with its mandate, the Defence Office enables the Defence Counsel and their teams to effectively represent the rights and interests of the accused in ongoing proceedings. Further, The Defence Office in all its sections aims to prepare for any difficulties that might arise from the deliberation phase onwards, for the potential sentencing and appeal phases as well as possible opening of potential new cases. The report notes that on On 8 June 2018, Ms Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen was appointed to the post of Head of Defence Office of the Tribunal by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Ms Le Fraper du Hellen thereby succeeded Mr François Roux, who held the post of Head of Defence Office from March 2009 to February 2018.
The Registry reports on its ongoing overarching responsibility to provide effective support to the judicial proceedings through providing efficient and customer-oriented administration of the Tribunal, raising awareness on the Tribunal's work and engaging the public, securing continued political, financial and operational support for its work, as well as ensuring a safe and secure work environment and safeguarding the welfare of staff.
STL President Judge Ivana Hrdličková concludes that the STL's focus for the next year is on the judicial deliberations and the preparation of the judgement awaited by the victims of the 14 February 2005 attack, the Lebanese public and the wider international community.
The report is now available on the tribunal's website.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Contempt case STL-14-06 against Mr Ibrahim Al Amin closed; enforcement of sentence against Akhbar Beirut S.A.L outstanding
Leidschendam, 17 October 2018 – Mr Ibrahim Al Amin has satisfied the sentence imposed on him by the Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri on 29 August 2016. The fine of €20,000 was received by the Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on 14 August 2018.
The €6,000 fine imposed on Akhbar Beirut S.A.L remains outstanding. The Lebanese authorities have the ongoing obligation to ensure the sentence is enforced.
On 31 January 2014, Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Ali Al Amin and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. were charged with contempt and obstruction of justice before the STL in relation to media reports containing information about alleged confidential STL witnesses. The charges were brought under Rule 60 bis (A) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which states that the Tribunal may hold in contempt persons who knowingly and willfully interfere with its administration of justice. Mr Al Amin and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. were each charged with one count of knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice (STL-14-06).
The trial in STL-14-06 opened before the Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri on 24 February 2016, with opening statements by the Amicus Curiae Prosecutor and the Defence. The Amicus presented his case-in-chief from 24 to 26 February and on 29 February and 1 March 2016. The Defence presented their case from 7 to 8 April. Both parties presented their closing arguments on 13 May 2016.
Contempt Judge Lettieri issued a judgment on 15 July 2016 finding both Accused guilty of one count of contempt for knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by publishing information on purported confidential witnesses in the Ayyash et al. case, thereby undermining public confidence in the Tribunal's ability to protect the confidentiality of information about, or provided by, witnesses or potential witnesses.
On 29 August 2016, Mr Al Amin was sentenced to a €20,000 fine and Akhbar Beirut to a €6,000 fine, which neither appealed. The Contempt Judge also ordered that both fines be paid in full by 30 September 2016. Mr Al Amin failed to pay his fine.
After a number of measures to enforce the sentence had been taken, in furtherance of various orders from the Contempt Judge, the full fine of €20,000 was deposited with the Registry of the Tribunal on 14 August 2018. The €6,000 fine imposed on Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. remains outstanding. The Lebanese authorities remain obligated to enforce this sentence.
For more information, click on the "Questions and Answers on the contempt cases before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon".