Saturday, May 14, 2011

STL-Media Advisory : Timeline Jamil El Sayed, May 12 2011

** El Sayed's Release
29 April 2009: Special Tribunal Lebanon Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen orders the release of Jamil Mohamad Amin El Sayed, Ali Salah El Dine El Hajj, Raymond Fouad Azar and Mostafa Fehmi Hamdan.
·         Read the media advisory.
·         Read the OTP press release.
*** Mr El Sayed's Application
17 March 2010: Mr El Sayed, represented by his counsel Akram Azoury, submitted an application before the President of the STL that was filed confidentially with the Registry of the Tribunal, requesting "evidentiary material related to the crimes of libelous denunciations and arbitrary detention".
15 April 2010: The President of the Special Tribunal, Judge Antonio Cassese,issued an order assigning the matter to the Pre-Trial Judge. Pursuant to the President's Order, "the Applicant was granted standing to submit filings in this matter and according to the relevant rules and procedures".
21 April 2010: the Pre-Trial Judge issued a "Scheduling Order For Determination Of The Application Of Mr. El Sayed", in which the procedure to rule on Mr. El Sayed Application was spelled out. The Order set the dates for submissions of arguments and responses by Mr. El Sayed and the Office of the Prosecutor and laid out the possibility that the Pre-Trial Judge order a public hearing.
25 June 2010: The Pre-Trial Judge issued a scheduling order for a public hearing on the request of Mr El Sayed for access to certain documents allegedly in the possession of the Tribunal.
13 July 2010: A public hearing was held at the request of Mr. El Sayed to determine if the Tribunal has jurisdiction over this matter. During the hearing, the Applicant and the Prosecutor put forward their arguments and the Head of the Defence Office also provided his views.
View pictures of the hearing.
17 September 2010: The Pre-Trial Judge issued an Order, in which he found that the Tribunal had jurisdiction over this matter, and that Mr El Sayed had standing before the Tribunal. The Pre-Trial Judge ruled that the right of access to a criminal file is not absolute and can be subject to limitations. On 29 September the Prosecutor lodged an appeal against the Pre-Trial Judge's Order.
·         Read the media advisory regarding the Pre-Trial Judge's Order.
1 October 2010 : The President of the Tribunal issued a scheduling order requesting the UN to submit an amicus curiae brief. Mr. El Sayed appealed the scheduling order and requested the disqualification of Judges Ralph Riachy and Afif Chamseddine from considering both appeals. On 10 November 2010, President Cassese issued two decisions (CH/PRES/2010/09, CH/PRES/2010/08) in which he rejected Mr El Sayed's motions to disqualify both judges. President Cassese determined that Judges Ralph Riachy and Afif Chamseddine have no personal interest in, or association with, Mr El Sayed's application that could affect or appear to affect their impartiality.
·         Read the media advisory.
10 November 2010: The Appeals Chamber dismissed the Prosecution's appeal, confirmed the Pre-Trial Judge's order on jurisdiction and standing and referred the case again to the Pre-Trial Judge.
·         Read the media advisory regarding the Appeals Chamber's decision.
7 January 2011: The Pre-Trial Judge issued a Scheduling Order to hold a public hearing in the case of Mr El Sayed. The Scheduling Order included a list of clarification questions to be addressed by both him and the Prosecutor during the hearing. Judge Fransen ordered this hearing in the interests of justice, taking into account the special circumstances of Mr. El Sayed's case and the importance of the issues it raised.
14 January 2011: A public hearing was held to allow Mr El Sayed and the Prosecutor to respond orally to the questions raised in the Order of 7 January 2011, and finalize their submissions to the Pre-Trial Judge.
Mr. El Sayed and the Prosecutor further addressed the specific issue of a possible ex parte hearing before the Pre-Trial Judge, during which the Prosecutor could confidentially identify those documents in his possession, that could be disclosed to Mr El Sayed or his Counsel, and give concrete reasons why other documents would not be disclosable.
·         Read the media advisory.
19 April 2011: The Pre-Trial Judge held a confidential and ex parte hearing relating to the request by MrEl Sayed to obtain access to documents allegedly in the possession of the Prosecutor that relate to his file. The purpose of the hearing was for the Pre-Trial Judge to examine the documents in the possession of the Prosecutor potentially relevant to Mr El Sayed and determine which of them the Prosecutor should disclose to Mr El Sayed, and in what form such disclosure is to take place..
·         Read the media advisory
Source: STL Release

Ambassador Connelly Visits PM-designate Najib Mikati

On May 12, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly met with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati and discussed with him the U.S. administration's developing view on the dramatic events that have occurred and continue to occur in the region.  Ambassador Connelly expressed the U.S. government's view that the governments of the region ought to listen to their people, refrain from violence, and engage in political dialogue in order to insure that the legitimate changes and reforms they demand can begin to be implemented.
The United States views that the international community will assess its relationship with any new government of Lebanon based on the make-up of the next cabinet, its Ministerial Statement and the actions it takes in regard to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Lebanon's other international obligations.  The U.S. hopes that the government formation process will be protected from outside influence.  The U.S. continues its support for Lebanon's sovereignty, stability, and prosperity, and calls on the next Lebanese government to provide stability and promote justice for the people of Lebanon by honoring its international agreements. A government that is truly representative of the interests of the people of Lebanon will continue to support and sustain the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Source: US.Beirut Embassy Release

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pre-Trial Judge orders the release of documents to Mr El Sayed

Leidschendam/12th May 2011 - The Pre-Trial Judge, Daniel Fransen, has ordered that the tribunal's Prosecutor release more than 270 documents to Jamil El Sayed.
Judge Fransen ruled that Mr El Sayed would receive some of the documents in the possession of the STL Prosecutor very soon. A large majority of these will be disclosed to Mr El Sayed, whilst others can only be inspected by his counsel.
Judge Fransen also ruled that these documents can only be used for 'legitimate purposes'. The use of these documents must respect the presumption of innocence, the right of the defence and the right to privacy of third parties.
Mr El Sayed was one of four generals who was detained by the Lebanese authorities in connection with the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and others. He was released in April 2009, just weeks after the establishment of the STL, following an order by Judge Fransen.
Mr El Sayed has claimed that he was wrongly detained by the Lebanese authorities on the basis of libelous denunciations. He has requested documents related to this claim. Mr El Sayed asked the STL for access to this evidence so that he can pursue civil claims in national courts.
This process has taken some time. First the Prosecutor identified and listed several hundred documents in his possession and then the Pre-Trial Judge has individually reviewed each of them before reaching his decision.
Judge Fransen has ordered the Prosecutor to file a report by June 13th that explains how he has completed the obligations required in this decision.
This is an ongoing process. If the Prosecutor finds new documents during his investigation he may be required to disclose them. The Pre-Trial Judge has also ordered the Prosecutor to review some additional documents, which may be released to Mr El Sayed in the future.
Judge Fransen's decision was issued in French. Translations of the ruling into Arabic and English will follow in due course.
Source: STL Press realease.