Friday, October 28, 2011

Media advisory - Victims' Participation Unit calls for final applications ahead of Monday deadline

Leidschendam 28 October 2011 - The STL Victims' Participation Unit reminds victims of the 14 February 2005 attack that if they wish to participate in proceedings before the Tribunal in the Ayyash et al case, they must submit an application by Monday 31 October 2011. This deadline was set by the Pre-Trial Judge in an order of 8 September 2011.
According to the STL's rules, victims may participate in a trial, usually through a lawyer, by making submissions, submitting evidence, and questioning witnesses, subject to the approval of the judges. Victims who are unable to afford legal representation will be provided with a lawyer through the STL's legal aid policy ..
Victims wishing to apply for participation at the STL should contact the Victims' Participation Unit, which has a mandate to inform victims about their rights before the Tribunal, and to help them apply for participation.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Russian envoy says country still “backs” STL

Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin said on Thursday following a meeting with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel that Russia "still supports" the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, Zasypkin said that the Netherlands-based tribunal represents international legitimacy and "we want it to achieve its objectives stipulated by the UN [Security Council] Resolution [ 1757]."
The Hezbollah-led March 8 parties – which currently dominate Lebanon's cabinet – have opposed a clause in the Lebanese annual state budget pertaining to the funding of the UN-backed court, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati has repeatedly voiced Lebanon's commitment to the tribunal.
Four Hezbollah members have been indicted by the STL in the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri. However, the Shia group strongly denied the charges and refuses to cooperate with the court
Lebanon contributes 49 percent of the STL's annual funding.
Zasypkin told reporters that the meeting touched upon the general situation in Lebanon and the region. He added that Moscow supports Lebanon's "sovereignty, independence and the safety of its people."
The Russian envoy also said "I specifically pointed out, [during the meeting], the importance of holding on to the principles of international legitimacy regarding all issues."
-NOW Lebanon

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Media Advisory - Defence Office assigns duty counsel to ensure the rights of the accused

Leidschendam – 26 October 2011 - The Head of Defence Office assigned a primary duty counsel and a co-counsel to each of the accused, pursuant to the Trial Chamber's scheduling order of 20 October 2011. The purpose of these assignments is to ensure that the rights and interests of the accused are individually protected while the Trial Chamber considers whether to initiate in absentia proceedings.

The Head of Defence Office made the following assignments:
For Salim Jamil AYYASH: as lead counsel Mr. Eugene O'SULLIVAN, a Canadian national admitted to the Law Society of British Columbia; and as co-counsel Mr. Emile AOUN, a Lebanese national admitted to the Beirut Bar
for Mustafa Amine BADREDDINE: as lead counsel Mr. Antoine KORKMAZ, a Lebanese and French national admitted to the Paris Bar; and as co-counsel Mr. John JONES a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales
for Hussein Hassan ONEISSI: as lead counsel Mr. Vincent COURCELLE-LABROUSSE, a French national admitted to the Paris Bar, and as co-counsel Mr. Yasser HASSAN, an Egyptian national admitted to the Egyptian Bar
Assad Hassan SABRA: as lead counsel Mr. David YOUNG, a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, and as co-counsel Dr. Guénaël METTRAUX, a Swiss national practicing before the International Criminal Court and the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

The assignment of duty counsel is a temporary assignment. The eight duty counsel have been selected based on their relevant experience, skills and competences, including experience in Lebanon, terrorism cases, or international tribunals as well as their language abilities. The selection of the Lead counsel was done by the Defence Office, with no involvement from any of the four accused. The co-counsel are appointed in consultation with the Lead counsel.

Should the Trial Chamber decide to initiate in absentia proceedings, the Defence Office will be requested to assign defence counsel for the remainder of the proceedings. Should the Trial Chamber decide not to initiate in absentia proceedings, duty counsel may be withdrawn. The duty counsel shall also be withdrawn if the accused decide to participate in the proceedings, for example by designating their own counsel. The assigned counsel are paid in accordance with the Defence Legal Aid Policy.