Saturday, December 25, 2010

Germany increases contribution to the Hariri Tribunal

German Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Press release, date of issue: 22.12.2010
The German Government is transferring an additional 1.5 million euro to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for 2011. By doing this it – along with other donor states – is signalling its continued support for the Special Tribunal's work.
In this connection, Federal Minister Westerwelle stressed that it was in the interests of both the international community and the people of Lebanon that light be shed on the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Rafik Hariri. He called on all political forces in Lebanon to support the Tribunal and went on to say that threats aimed at obstructing the Special Tribunal's work were unacceptable.
The main task of the Tribunal established by the UN Security Council is to investigate the attack on 14 February 2005 which left the then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other persons dead. The aim of the investigation is to find evidence of individual guilt and not to establish political responsibility.
Germany has been providing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon with both personnel and funding since its establishment in 2007. It is a member of the Management Committee set up by the UN Secretary-General and which is composed of the Tribunal's key donor countries. From 2008 to 2010, Germany made an annual contribution of one million US dollars.

British Foreign Office affirms UK support for STL

19 December 2010 Foreign Secretary William Hague discussed the areas of concern, and the direction of foreign policy in the coming months.
In an interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News, the Foreign Secretary said:
The Foreign Secretary discussed concern in Lebanon as the Special Tribunal inquiry into the murder of former Prime Minister Hariri draws to a close.
"We are very concerned about Lebanon, that is one of our concerns over the coming weeks. We think it's very important that tribunal does its work. I've announced an increase in the British funding for that tribunal, as did the United States with their funding, to make clear that it must go ahead, that justice must proceed in the Lebanon for people to have any confidence in its future.

Payment by France of its contribution to the budget of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for 2012

Communique of the French Permanent Mission to the United Nations, 17 December 2010

France has paid its contribution to the budget of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for 2011. This amounts to €1.5 million, thus bringing the total financial support provided by France to the STL since its creation to €4.5 million.

This contribution reflects France's resolute support for the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. France urges all parties to respect the STL's mandate, established by Security Council resolution 1757 (2007). This Tribunal must, in the interests of Lebanon as well as the entire region, be allowed to continue working completely independently and in an atmosphere of calm. The international community must continue to lend the Tribunal its political and financial support.

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Announcing an Additional $10 million U.S. Contribution to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 3, 2010
Video of the Statement is Available at:
The United States is pleased to announce that we will transfer an additional $10 million to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. This brings total U.S. funding for the Tribunal to $30 million since its inception.
We applaud the brave and tireless work of the Tribunal's staff members, who continue to carry out their duties in a professional, apolitical manner. The recent attack on three Tribunal staff members in Beirut is yet another attempt to create a false choice between justice and stability in Lebanon and to prevent the independent Tribunal from carrying out its Security Council mandate. We condemn such acts and again emphasize that efforts to discredit, hinder, or influence the Tribunal's work must not be tolerated. The Tribunal must continue to operate according to the highest standards of judicial independence and integrity, and we have full confidence in its ability to do so.
The establishment of the Tribunal was a clear signal that Lebanon's sovereignty is non-negotiable. We are confident that the work of the Tribunal can continue to help deter further violence and put an end to a tragic era of impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon. Until Lebanon is able to achieve this, it will be very difficult to secure the peace and stability that all Lebanese citizens deserve.
We commend all of the donor countries that have contributed to the Tribunal and we encourage the entire international community to continue to support the Tribunal, financially and politically.

Lebanon/Special Tribunal - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

5 November 2010 - The meeting of the Security Council today was the expression of our common concern following the attacks against the investigators of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the 27th of October. First of all, we wanted to be informed by Ms. Patricia O'Brien, who is the Legal Counsel of our organization, and we wanted to reaffirm our support to the actions of the Tribunal. I think this support was granted: it was a good opportunity for all of us to reaffirm it. We have all expressed our wish that the Tribunal is able to continue its action in an independent and effective way. 
Q: The Council condemned the attack. What is France's position?
First, I think it was in a sense a very factual meeting. We wanted to be informed about what happened. So Ms. O'Brien transmitted the elements that she had. Do not forget also that it is an independent tribunal, therefore we do not have all the information from the Tribunal. So we are going to tell the Tribunal that if it considers it necessary or appropriate to provide more to the Council, it is up to it to send it to the Council. But of course everybody condemned the attack against the investigators.
Q: Some people say that it should not have been Ms O'Brien that should have briefed the Council but someone from the court itself: as you said the court is independent…
The Secretariat has transmitted to us the information it got from the Tribunal. Some members said they would have wanted more information, so it will be up to the Tribunal to decide whether it wants to transmit additional information to the Council. I insist and we all have insisted the Tribunal is independent. So it's up to the tribunal to decide.
Q: Mr Ambassador, are you satisfied with the action of the Security Council and do you believe that the Council should take further action?
We are very satisfied because there was a general agreement around the table, a general expression of support. We are now going to see what happens on the ground in the coming weeks, which is important. Again, this is not a political issue. We do not want to politicize it. The Council was very clear on not making this issue a political one. We have a Tribunal, created by the Security Council. We want it to work in an effective and serene manner.
Q: Is it acceptable for France to release personal data about people and (inaudible)? 
The Tribunal is independent so if you have any question about the Tribunal you have to go to the Tribunal.
Thank you

President Cassese addresses the UN Secretary General and the Lebanese Prime Minister regarding the attack in Beirut on STL staff

Leidschendam, 29 October 2010 - Judge Antonio Cassese, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, addressed today in separate letters, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon and the Lebanese Prime Minister Mr. Saad Harriri. In the letters, President Cassese conveyed the Tribunal's great concern about the incident which took place in Beirut on 27 October and resulted in the injury of STL staff and the unlawful removal of STL property.
The President reassured both the UN Secretary General and the Lebanese Prime Minister that "this most regrettable incident will not be allowed to jeopardize the work of the Tribunal in discharging its truth-seeking mission for the Lebanese people and the international community." The President also firmly underscored "that the Tribunal continues to act independently in accordance with its legal framework".
President Cassese further stated that both he and the Tribunal's staff greatly appreciate the strong commitment of Lebanon to cooperation with the Special Tribunal and the UN Secretary General's calls for all parties to refrain from interfering in the Tribunal's work.
The President concluded by saying that "it is our firm intention not to bow to any act of interference and intimidation in carrying out our mandate in an independent and fair manner".

New York, 28 October 2010 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by recent statements and events related to the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). He condemns the incident on Wednesday, 27 October, involving a team of investigators from the Prosecutor's Office. Such acts of interference and intimidation are unacceptable. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an independent court of law established at the request of the Government of Lebanon, with a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council. It is an important tool to uncover the truth and end impunity. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from interfering in its work, which proceeds in accordance with the legal principles and standards applied by all international tribunals, and from prejudging its outcome.

The Secretary-General also wishes to stress that it is imperative that the Special Tribunal carry out its work safely and securely. He commends the Lebanese authorities for their swift action in opening an inquiry into the incident that occurred on 27 October.

Violence will not Deter OTP Investigation

Leidschendam, 27 October 2010:  On Wednesday morning, 27 October 2010, two investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and an STL interpreter attended a pre-arranged meeting at a doctor's office in Beirut as a legitimate step in their ongoing investigation.
The process leading to the visit was handled professionally and in accordance with legal safeguards. The visit had been approved by the Lebanese authorities. The investigators were accompanied by members of the judicial police and the army. The doctor, having received approval from the Beirut Order of Physicians to meet with the OTP investigators, had agreed to the meeting.
The session with the doctor was conducted in a respectful manner. During the meeting, a large group of people showed up unexpectedly and violently attacked the investigators and their female interpreter. Several items belonging to OTP staff were stolen during the attack.
The Lebanese army extracted the three staff members and brought them back safely to the STL Beirut Office where they were provided with medical attention.
The Office of the Prosecutor takes this incident very seriously and is currently gathering the facts. The Lebanese authorities have launched an investigation.
The Office of the Prosecutor denounces the use of violence. The investigation into the Hariri attack will continue and this incident will not deter the OTP from pursuing its mission.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon condemns the attack against staff

Leidschendam, 27 October 2010: The attack this morning in Beirut against staff members of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a deplorable attempt to obstruct justice. Those who carried out this attack must know that violence will not deter the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a court of law, from fulfilling its mandate.
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Antonio Cassese, the Head of the the Defence Office, Mr. Francois Roux and the Acting Registrar, Mr. Herman Von Hebel condemn violence in the strongest of terms.
The President will report this regrettable incident to the Government of Lebanon and to the UN Secretary-General.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Special Tribunal on Lebanon - Background

On 13 December 2005, the Government of the Lebanese Republic requested the United Nations to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 in Beirut that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others. Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1664 (2006), the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Further to Security Council resolution 1757 (2007) of 30 May 2007, the provisions of the document annexed to it and the Statute of the Special Tribunal thereto attached, entered into force on 10 June 2007.
The mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is to prosecute persons responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 resulting in the death of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and in the death or injury of other persons. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction could be extended beyond the 14 February 2005 bombing if the Tribunal finds that other attacks that occurred in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005 are connected in accordance with the principles of criminal justice and are of a nature and gravity similar to the attack of 14 February 2005. This connection includes but is not limited to a combination of the following elements: criminal intent (motive), the purpose behind the attacks, the nature of the victims targeted, the pattern of the attacks (modus operandi), and the perpetrators. Crimes that occurred after 12 December 2005 can be eligible to be included in the Tribunal’s jurisdiction under the same criteria if it is so decided by the Government of the Lebanese Republic and the United Nations and with the consent of the Security Council.