Monday, March 11, 2013

STL fourth annual report

Leidschendam, 8 March 2013 - The fourth annual report on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's activities was sent this week to the UN Secretary-General and the Lebanese Prime Minister. It is now available on the Tribunal's website.

"Our aim is to help the people of Lebanon restore in full the operation of the rule of law in Lebanon, so that they and their families may enjoy the peace and tranquility that is their birthright," STL President Judge Sir David Baragwanath, noted in the report.

The President thanked the Lebanese authorities for their cooperation, but noted that "the eight years which have elapsed since the attacks of which we are seized make more urgent the task of locating and detaining" the accused.

The release of the report marks the start of the second year of the Tribunal's renewed mandate. It details the intensive preparations for trial, including Defence challenges to the Tribunal's legality, the "massive task" of disclosure of evidence, and the postponement of the tentative date for trial.

Over the past year, the Tribunal's judges heard and dismissed challenges to the STL's legality, and upheld the decision to hold a trial in absentia for the 14 February 2005 attack - the first international criminal court to allow such proceedings since the Nuremberg trials.

In July 2012, the Pre-Trial Judge set 25 March 2013 as a tentative date for the start of trial. In January 2013, the Defence teams requested that this date be vacated, for reasons including the incomplete disclosure by the Prosecutor, the size of the Prosecution's case and technical and translation issues. These matters, which could not have been foreseen when the trial date was set, compelled the Pre-Trial Judge to postpone the start date for hearing witnesses, given the "overarching requirement of fairness of trial."

The Office of the Prosecutor said it was focused on preparing for trial as well as reviewing and investigating the three cases connected to the 14 February 2005 attack that are under the Tribunal's jurisdiction.

The report notes that the Office of the Prosecutor will be ready for trial later in 2013. In addition, the Prosecution will create a new team dedicated to examining whether other assassinations can be connected to the 14 February 2005 attack.

Supported by the Defence Office, lead and co-counsel for the four accused worked to understand the Prosecution's case and to prepare their own. Defence lawyers launched preliminary motions that challenged the STL's legality, the decision to try the accused in absentia, the decision defining terrorism and the form of the indictment.

The Tribunal is also close to completing the hand-over of documents to Jamil El Sayyed, one of the four generals arrested in connection with the 14 February 2005 attack and released by the STL for lack of evidence.

"In carrying out its work... the Tribunal gives a voice to the victims of terrorist crimes and furthers the hopes of all Lebanese citizens who aspire to end the vicious circle of violence, crime and impunity that has plagued their beautiful country," the report concluded. "We are determined to show that a fair trial in a complex terrorism case is possible."

.66 - Number of victims participating in proceedings
.120 - Decisions issued by the Pre-Trial Judge in the last year
.557 - Number of witnesses the Prosecution intends to call for trial
.457.5 - Estimated number of hours for Prosecution to present its case
.13,000 - Number of exhibits Prosecution intends to present in trial
.24,932 - Number of pages of official court documents filed
.17,000 - Number of pages of translation delivered
.55.3 million - STL's budget for 2012 in Euros
.59.9 million - STL's budget for 2013 in Euros
.Over 26 - Number of countries that have contributed to the STL
.393 - Total number of STL staff
.54 - Number of Lebanese staff members
.30,000 - Number of files disclosed to the Defence by the Prosecution
.530,000 - Number of pages disclosed to the Defence by the Prosecution

.12 March 2012 - Judge Daniel Nsereko and Prosecutor Norman Farrell sworn in
.16 March 2012 - STL President suspends proceedings to define the crime of "criminal association" after the Pre-Trial Judge rejected the Prosecutor's request to amend the indictment. The Prosecution had requested the addition of a count of "criminal association", a crime under Lebanese law, to the indictment.
.16 April 2012 - Pre-Trial Judge sets deadline for challenging STL's jurisdiction
.10 May 2012 - Defence lawyers for Mustafa Badreddine file a motion challenging the legality of the establishment of the STL
.16 May 2012 - Registrar appoints counsel for victims participating in the trial
.21 May 2012 - Trial Chamber schedules hearing on the STL's jurisdiction
.11 July 2012 - The Trial Chamber rejects motions by the defence counsel for the four accused to suspend or reconsider in absentia proceedings
.11 July 2012 - STL receives Lebanon's contribution to the 2012 budget
.18 July 2012 - Appeals Chamber rejects a Defence request to reconsider its decision defining the crime of terrorism
.19 July 2012 - Pre-Trial Judge sets 25 March 2013 as the tentative date for the start of trial
.30 July 2012 - Trial Chamber confirms the legality and jurisdiction of the Tribunal
.21 September 2012 - John Jones, co-counsel for Mustafa Badreddine and a dual US/UK citizen, is issued a special license to continue representing Mr Badreddine despite US sanctions
.24 October 2012 - Appeals Chamber dismisses Defence challenges to the Tribunal's legality
.1 November 2012 - Appeals Chamber unanimously dismissed challenges by the Defence asking for a review of the decision to begin an in absentia trial
.16 November 2012 - Prosecution files its pre-trial brief
.14 December 2012 - The UN Secretary General appointed Judge Ivana Hrdličková to the Appeals Chamber of the STL, replacing Judge Kjell Erik Björnberg.
.11 January 2013 - Defence counsel file pre-trial briefs
.14 January 2013 - Daryl A. Mundis is appointed Deputy Registrar.
.24 January 2013 - Defence lawyers ask Pre-Trial Judge to postpone trial date
.7 February 2013 - Prosecution files motion seeking amendments to the indictment
.21 February 2013 - Pre-Trial Judge postpones start of trial
.25 February 2013 - STL judges approve changes to the rules of the Tribunal in order to speed up proceedings