Friday, July 29, 2011

Highlights: Hariri Tribunal

Fri, 29 Jul 2011
Hariri Tribunal
Deputy Spokesperson Toner (July 29): "This indictment's an important milestone, and we call on the Government of Lebanon to continue to meet its obligations under international law to support the special tribunal."


New York, Jul 29 2011 3:10PM
The United Nations-backed tribunal set up to try those alleged responsible for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri today released the identities of the four men accused of the crime.

Daniel Fransen, a pre-trial judge with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL, ordered the lifting of confidentiality on the full names, aliases, photographs, biographical information and charges against the men named in an indictment last month. Parts of the indictment remain confidential.

The four people named are Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra. All Lebanese, they are charged over the massive car bombing in central Beirut on 14 February 2005 that killed Mr. Hariri and 21 others.

Mr. Ayyash, 47, and Mr. Badreddine, 50, are each charged with homicide, attempted homicide, committing a terrorist act and conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.

Mr. Oneissi, 37, and Mr. Sabra, 34, face charges of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, and being an accomplice to homicide and to attempted homicide.

In a statement Daniel Bellemare, the STL Prosecutor, said the release of the names and biographical information "has been taken to increase the likelihood of apprehending the accused in case any of them is seen by the public."

International arrest warrants against the four men were issued on 8 July and Lebanese authorities have to report back by 11 August on the progress made in carrying out the arrest warrants.

A spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief reiterated his strong support for the STL in its efforts to uncover the truth of what happened on 14 February 2005 and to bring those responsible for justice.

"He calls on all States to support the independent judicial process, including by cooperating with the Special Tribunal in the execution of the indictment and arrest warrants," the spokesperson said.

"The Secretary-General also reiterates his expectation that the new Government of Lebanon will uphold all of Lebanon's international expectations, including its obligations to support and cooperate with the Special Tribunal."

The STL is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the Security Council. It is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Pre-Trial Judge lifts confidentiality from parts of the indictment

Leidschendam, 29 July 2011 - The Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen has ordered the lifting of confidentiality on the full names and aliases, biographical information, photographs and charges against the individuals named in the indictment, confirmed on 28 June.
The Prosecution alleges that the four individuals named in the indictment were involved in the 14 February 2005 attack that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and others.
These are the four individuals named in the indictment: Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, Assad Hassan Sabra.
The order states that Prosecutor Daniel A. Bellemare, after consultations with the Lebanese Prosecutor General, indicated that lifting the confidentiality of this information "does not contradict Lebanese law with regard to executing arrests."  
According to the order, Prosecutor Bellemare stated that making the information available to the public may increase the likelihood of the accused being apprehended.
The remaining text of the indictment and the individual redacted versions for each accused will remain confidential at this stage. The Pre-Trial Judge said that disclosing the above information does not prejudice the rights of the accused, who are still presumed innocent.
The Prosecutor submitted the indictment for review to Judge Fransen, on 17 January 2011. The indictment and accompanying arrest warrants were transmitted to the Lebanese authorities on 30 June 2011.
The Pre-Trial Judge issued on 8 July 2011 international arrest warrants against the accused.
Judge Fransen authorised the Office of the Prosecutor to provide Interpol with the necessary information to issue a "red notice" against each accused.
The deadline for authorities in Lebanon to report on the progress made in carrying out the arrest warrants is on 11 August. The Lebanese authorities have an ongoing responsibility to arrest, detain, and transfer the accused.