Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“Don’t be a victim twice” / Victims’ participation in STL proceedings

Leidschendam, 12 July 2011 - The Victims' Participation Unit of the STL has today opened applications for victims to participate in the proceedings before the Tribunal. This follows the confirmation of an indictment by the Pre-Trial Judge on 28 June 2011.

Through this process the voices of victims will be heard. They will be able to fully participate in the trial before the Tribunal, which will seek the truth behind the attack on 14 February 2005 and also serve justice.

Individuals who have suffered physical, mental or material harm can apply to participate in the proceedings as victims by completing the application form on the STL website. Since the confirmed indictment relates to the attack on 14 February 2005 that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others, only those who were affected by that attack may participate at this stage.

The victims' application process is entirely confidential. Once the Pre-Trial Judge approves the application, the victim is entitled to a number of rights similar to those of the Prosecution and the Defense; such as calling and cross-examining witnesses, submitting evidence, and filing motions, with the approval of the judges.

Unless the judges rule differently, victims shall only participate in the proceedings through a lawyer. The Tribunal could, under certain conditions, cover all of the victims' legal costs if they are unable to afford them.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon cannot award compensation to victims for the harm they suffered. However, if one or more accused persons are convicted, the Tribunal shall provide victims with a certified copy of the judgment, which they may present before national courts in order to seek compensation.

The Victims' Participation Unit is responsible for assisting the victims participating in the proceedings related to the attack on 14 February 2005 and any other attack (s) over which the Tribunal will have jurisdiction. A Lebanese telephone hotline has been set up to answer victims' questions.
Source: STL Press Release

Monday, July 11, 2011

STL Media Advisory - International arrest warrants

Leidschendam, 11 July 2011 -The Pre-Trial Judge, Daniel Fransen, issued on Friday 8 July international arrest warrants against the accused in the 14 February 2005 attack in which the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri and many others were killed. The Tribunal has requested Interpol to notify all States of the arrest warrants. This follows a request from STL Prosecutor Daniel A. Bellemare.

Judge Fransen's decision authorised the Office of the Prosecutor to provide Interpol with the necessary information to issue a "red notice" against each accused.

The issuing of international warrants comes after the confirmation of an indictment and its transmission along with domestic arrest warrants to the Lebanese authorities on 30 June 2011. The confirmation of that indictment means that the Pre-Trial Judge has ruled that there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial. The indictment remains confidential, and at this stage the STL has no comment to make about the identity of those accused.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Interpol forwards warrants for Hariri murder suspects

"I can confirm that the tribunal has requested Interpol to notify all states of the arrest warrants against the accused in the 15th February 2005 attack," the court's Beirut spokesman, Martin Youssef, told AFP.
He said that the international police organisation had issued a so-called "red notice" to member states late on Friday but gave no information on the presumed whereabouts or the identity of the four suspects.
"The international arrest warrants will not be published and will not be available to the public because they are still confidential," he added.
A senior officer in Lebanon's security services told AFP that Lebanon and the other 187 Interpol member states had received the "red notice" on Saturday asking them to arrest the suspects and hand them over to the UN-backed court for trial.
The official said the warrants were for four senior Hezbollah officers who are accused of carrying out a "terrorist act" and of "killing Rafiq Hariri and 21 others using explosives."
The Special Tribunal submitted a confidential indictment and arrest warrants for the four accused on June 30. The names of the four were not released but were leaked to the Beirut media and later confirmed by the Lebanese government.
Mustafa Badreddin, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra and Hussein Anaissi are all members of Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and now leads the majority bloc in the Lebanese parliament.
In a July 2 speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah ruled out the arrest of four.
"No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests whether in 30 days... 30 years or even 300 years," he said.