Wednesday, March 11, 2015

STL publishes sixth annual report

Leidschendam, 10 March 2015 – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon submitted last week its sixth annual report to the United Nations Secretary-General and to the Government of Lebanon. The report is now available on the Tribunal's website.

The annual report details the activities of the Tribunal over the period 1 March 2014-28 February 2015 and its objectives in the coming year. It also highlights the judicial and non-judicial developments in the STL's Chambers, Office of the Prosecutor, Defence Office and Registry.

The smooth progress of the Ayyash et al. trial following the resumption of proceedings before the Trial Chamber on 18 June 2014 constituted a successful step towards the completion of trial and fulfilling the Tribunal's primary mandate. As of mid-February, the Trial Chamber has heard oral testimony from 47 witnesses and has admitted into evidence written statements of 56 others. It has admitted into the trial record 579 exhibits, totaling 27,582 of pages, and ruled admissible around 500 more. The Trial Chamber has also ordered so far that all the witness evidence be heard in open session, to maximise publicity and public scrutiny.

The Tribunal has also considered two cases of alleged contempt and obstruction of justice during the reporting period. The two cases concern the publication of the identities of individuals alleged to be confidential witnesses in the Ayyash et al. case. The contempt trials are to take place later this year.

"The first mandate was a period of investigations and preparations. The second saw the opening of the first trial on 16 January 2014. The third mandate will include the completion of the current trial" said former STL President, Judge Sir David Baragwanath.

The former President concluded "the STL is uniquely placed to make a contribution to the rule of law. In our new mandate, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that our legacy is one of significant and enduring value for Lebanon primarily, but also for the region and beyond."