Friday, August 4, 2017

The Trial Chamber scheduled the presentation of the victims’ case for the week of 28 August 2017

Leidschendam, 02 August 2017 – The Trial Chamber at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has tentatively scheduled the presentation of the victims' case for the week of 28 August 2017 in a Decision on the Legal Representatives of Victims' Application to Call Evidence, Schedule the Presentation of Evidence and Directions on Disclosure Obligations (LRV) filed on Monday 31 July 2017. 
 
In its decision, the Trial Chamber authorized seven victims and a non-victim witness (Professor Dr Rianne Letschert, a victimologist) to testify in court.The Trial Chamber also deferred deciding whether another non-victim (Dr Fares Souaid) may testify pending receipt of his witness statement or report, granted the LRVs' application to add four witnesses to their witness list, as submitted on 10 May, and authorized the LRVs to submit for admission into evidence statements of 23 witnesses and any documents they may wish. Based on the decision, the LRVs are also authorized to request the admission into evidence of documents supporting proposed agreed facts between the LRVs and the Parties concerning the deaths, injuries and harms suffered as a result of the explosion in Beirut on 14 February 2005.
 
"The Trial Chamber's decision marks an important milestone for the STL: it will be the first time since the Ayyash et al. trial commenced that we will hear evidence from participating victims in the proceedings and their views on how the 14 February attack has impacted their lives", said Peter Haynes, Legal Representative of Victims (LRV)]. He added that "the testimony would relate to the personal experiences of the victims, various types of harm suffered due to the attack and by extension the collective harm suffered, not just of the individuals who have chosen to participate, but the victims generally, and the wider societal, cultural and economic impact of the events upon the Lebanese people." 
 
The presentation of the victims' evidence will be interposed before the formal close of the Prosecutor's case.  In an application filed on 3 May 2017, the LRVs estimated that their presentation of evidence would take approximately two weeks of court time.
 
Seventy-two (72) victims are participating in the Ayyash et al. trial proceedings and are represented by their own dedicated legal team responsible for presenting the victims' views and concerns before the Trial Chamber. 
 
Background information:
 
1. On 3 May 2017, the LRVs filed an application seeking to be authorized to present the victims' case. They requested to call 10 viva voce witnesses and to present the evidence of a further 23 witnesses in written form.  The LRVs intend to call non-victim witnesses to provide observations on the suffering of victims. These witnesses are Professor Dr Rianne Letschert, a victimologist and Dr Fares Souaid, a medical surgeon, political observer and former Lebanese Member of Parliament who may—if authorised by the Trial Chamber—testify about the political background and the chain of events that preceded and followed the assassination of Rafik Hariri. In addition, the witness will speak, as a physician, about the humanitarian and psychological problems and pain of the victims.
 
2. At the commencement of the trial in the Prosecutor vs. Ayyash et al. on 17 January 2014, the Legal Representatives of Victims made their opening statements. The video records are available here


Thursday, July 20, 2017

STL Registrar meets Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Leidschendam, 20 July 2017 - Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Registrar Daryl Mundis met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a working visit to Lebanon this week.

"This visit allowed me to inform the Prime Minister of the latest developments in the STL's work and thank him for the Lebanese Government's continued cooperation with the Tribunal," said Mr Mundis. "Lebanon's support is critical to ensuring that the STL fulfils its mandate in a timely and fair manner."

The Registrar travels to Beirut regularly to update key interlocutors on the STL's activities and to oversee its work in Lebanon. He is responsible for all aspects of the STL's administration, including the budget, fundraising, human resources and providing security. His responsibilities also include court management, the oversight of the Victims' Participation Unit, witness protection and language services.

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Background: Update on the Ayyash et al. Trial

The STL's main case, Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al., concerns the 14 February 2005 attack in Beirut that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. The trial commenced on 16 January 2014. The Prosecution is nearing the end of the presentation of its case.

So far, it has presented forensic evidence on the cause of the explosion of 14 February 2005 and evidence related to the death and injury of the victims of this attack. It has also presented evidence of the preparatory acts undertaken by the Accused and their co-conspirators in 2004-2005 to prepare for the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri. It is currently presenting evidence concerning the identity of the Accused and their respective roles in the attack.
Following the conclusion of the Prosecution's case, the Legal Representative of Victims and the Defence teams will have the opportunity to present their respective cases.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

JREISSATI MEETS WITH A DELEGATION OF US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FBI

Mon 10 Jul 2017 at 15:13Law
NNA - Justice Minister, Salim Jreissati, on Monday met at his ministerial office with a delegation of the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), headed by the Director of the Office of International Law Enforcement and Drug Control at the US Embassy in Beirut.
Discussions reportedly touched on negotiations over the signature of an agreement to combat some of the trans-border crimes, in accordance with international agreements signed by Lebanon, in addition to a judicial cooperation understanding between Lebanon and the United States of America.
Minister Jreissati gave a definition of some terminologies, in order to avoid any misunderstanding in the devising of such agreements, to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.
Both sides also exchanged information on some of the crimes that are taking place, notably with respect to issues related to smuggling of antiquities and art works, corruption, illegal transfer of funds and smuggling, in general.
Talks also touched with the subject of the International Tribunal for Lebanon.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

STL President meets with UN Secretary-General in New York

Leidschendam, 21 June 2017 – During a visit to the United Nations in New York this week, Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) President Judge Ivana Hrdličková met with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. They discussed the Tribunal's achievements and challenges, as well as its efforts to fulfil its mandate to hold fair, transparent and expeditious proceedings.
"I would like to reaffirm that impunity will not be tolerated," said the UN Secretary General. "The United Nations is committed to support the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, with the continued support and cooperation of the Government of Lebanon."
President Hrdličková expressed her gratitude to the Secretary-General for the UN's strong and steadfast support for the Tribunal and its work. "This was an excellent opportunity to update Secretary-General Guterres on the Tribunal's judicial activities and affirm our shared objectives of efficiency, transparency and accountability. We welcome the United Nations invaluable support in helping us fulfill our mandate and pursue justice for victims in Lebanon," President Hrdličková said.

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Background notes: The STL was established pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1757 (2007) with the mandate to prosecute and try those responsible for the 14 February 2005 attack in Beirut that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. The Tribunal also has jurisdiction over other attacks in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005 if they are determined to be connected to the 14 February 2005 attack because of their gravity or nature.
The Tribunal opened on 1 March 2009. The STL's main case, Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al. commenced on 16 January 2014 and concerns the Accused's alleged involvement in the 14 February 2005 attack.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

STL Registrar meets with Lebanese officials on working visit to Beirut

Leidschendam, 23 February 2017 – Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Registrar Daryl Mundis met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on a working visit to Beirut this week and discussed various matters relating to the Tribunal's work.

Mr Mundis also met with Justice Minister Salim Jreissati, Prosecutor General Samir Hammoud and members of the diplomatic community in Lebanon.

"These regular visits to Beirut allow me to update our key interlocutors on the STL's work and to personally thank Lebanese officials for their continued support," said Mr Mundis.

The STL Registrar is responsible for all aspects of the Tribunal's administration including the budget, fundraising, human resources and providing security. His responsibilities also include court management, the oversight of the Victims' Participation Unit, witness protection and language services.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

STL President met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun

Leidschendam, 17 January 2017 – The President and Vice President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Judge Ivana Hrdličková and Judge Ralph Riachi  congratulated today the newly elected President of the Lebanese Republic Michel Aoun.
During the meeting, President Hrdličková briefed him on the work of the Tribunal and said: “I am honoured to meet with President Michel Aoun and I thank him for the continuous support of Lebanon to the work of the STL." She also stressed upon the fact that "the Tribunal is for Lebanon and for the Lebanese people”. President Hrdličková reiterated to President Aoun that the “STL is an independent, fair and impartial institution working with the highest professional standards of international justice". And she concluded that “as the President of the STL I am determined to promote the values of efficiency, transparency and accountability”.
The Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati and the Prosecutor General Samir Hammoud attended the meeting held at the Presidential palace in Baabda.

Aoun welcomes STL president

Tue 17 Jan 2017 at 11:46
NNA - President of the Republic Michel Aoun welcomed on Tuesday before noon at Baabda Palace, the president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Judge Ivana Hrdlickova, hoping "to haste in issuing judgments because late justice is not justice." 
The Judge Hrdlickova congratulated President Aoun on his election, pointing out that it is her first meeting with the president of the Republic after his election. 
The Judge briefed President Aoun on the court's work and the ongoing cooperation between the Tribunal and Lebanon, especially over the financial and administrative sectors. 
The President called upon the Judge to adopt more financial and administrative transparency in the Tribunal's work, noting that Lebanon is contributing to half of the financial expenses of the Tribunal. 
Separately, Aoun welcomed from the World Bank with discussions featured high on ongoing cooperation between Lebanon and the World Bank over various fields.