Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trial Chamber awaits further info from Lebanese authorities

Leidschendam, 23 November 2011 – The Trial Chamber has decided today to await a response from the Lebanese authorities on their efforts to arrest the accused before deciding whether to begin proceedings in absentia.

The Trial Chamber has requested the Tribunal's Prosecutor to file a progress report by 8 December on the response of the Lebanese authorities.

The judges of the Trial Chamber are responsible for deciding whether to try the accused in their absence, given that none of the four indicted men has yet been arrested.

During a hearing held on 11 November, the Prosecution argued that the Lebanese authorities should do more to locate and arrest the accused before the Tribunal could try them in absentia. On 11 November the Prosecution sent 10 requests for assistance to the Lebanese Prosecutor General asking him to take additional steps.

The Tribunal's Defence Office asked the Trial Chamber to consider withdrawing the arrest warrants and notifying the accused of the possibility of appearing at trial by video-conference.

The Trial Chamber decided that the four accused should be formally notified of their rights to attend the trial.

When the Trial Chamber has the responses from the Lebanese authorities it will then decide whether it should invite Lebanese officials to provide additional information.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

President of the STL visits Lebanon

Leidschendam, 21 November 2011
The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge Sir David Baragwanath, will be visiting Lebanon this week for the first time. He is accompanied by the Vice-President of the Tribunal, Judge Ralph Riachy.

During the visit President Baragwanath will meet Lebanon's President and other Lebanese authorities who work with the Tribunal as well as agencies and members of the academic and legal community.

"I am honoured to visit a country of such great cultural and legal traditions", said Judge Baragwanath. "The Tribunal's judges consider themselves not just international judges, but also judges of Lebanon, applying the criminal law of Lebanon and respectful of its sovereignty and its people. I am determined that the work of the Tribunal be fair and expeditious, with full respect of the rights of the accused and the interests of the victims."