Friday, May 16, 2014

STL Trial Chamber sets date for restart of trial in Ayyash et al.

Leidschendam, 14 May 2014 - The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has issued an oral ruling setting the date for the resumption of trial as Wednesday 18 June 2014. The decision came during a status conference on 12 May. The Prosecutor's opening statement in the case against Mr. Merhi is scheduled for 18 June. Counsel for Mr. Merhi may then, if they choose, make their own opening statement.

The Trial Chamber will sit on a reduced basis until the judicial recess in July, so as to allow more free time for counsel to prepare their case. The Trial Chamber will re-assess this sitting schedule in July. According to the Special Tribunal's rules, any party wishing to file an interlocutory appeal against this decision can do so within seven days (from 12 May 2014).
During the Trial Chamber status conference in the Ayyash et al. case there was also discussion of Lebanon's cooperation with the STL. On this the Trial Chamber stated that if Lebanon does not have in its possession material requested by the STL, it should communicate this to the Tribunal.

At the status conference, the Prosecution provided an overview of how they will continue the presentation of the first chapter of their case. Co-counsel for Mr Merhi stated that the Merhi case is large and complex and that this has been exacerbated since the case is being held in absentia. They had asked not to resume the proceedings before end of September 2014.