Tuesday, March 6, 2018

STL Media Advisory- Trial Chamber schedules public hearing on 7 March 2018 for the delivery of the decision on Defence application for a judgement of acquittal

Leidschendam, 5 March 2018 - A public hearing will take place on Wednesday 7 March 2018 at 10:00 am C.E.T, and the STL Trial Chamber Judges will render a decision on an application submitted by the Oneissi Defence seeking a judgement of acquittal under Rule 167 of the STL's Rule of Procedure and Evidence. The Defence for Mr Ayyash, Mr Merhi and Mr Sabra did not make submissions under Rule 167.

In accordance with this Rule entitled "Judgement of Acquittal at the Close of the Prosecution Case", the Trial Chamber, after hearing submissions of the Parties, will issue a judgement of acquittal on any count if they find that there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction on that count. The Prosecutor may appeal any judgement of acquittal under this Rule.

On Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 February 2018, lead counsel for the Accused Mr Hussein Hassan Oneissi made oral submissions seeking a judgement of acquittal under Rule 167 in respect of all charges against Mr Oneissi in the amended consolidated indictment. The Prosecution responded on Wednesday 21 February 2018, followed by a reply from the Oneissi Defence. The Prosecution and the Oneissi Defence also filed written submissions in accordance with an oral order of the Trial Chamber on the sufficiency of evidence on each count Mr Oneissi is charged with and on the elements of complicity in Article 129 of the Lebanese Criminal Law.

Background information: The Ayyash et al. case relates to the 14 February 2005 attack which killed 22 individuals, including the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and injured 226 others. The Accused Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra remain at large. The proceedings against them are being held in absentia. On 11 July 2016, the Appeals Chamber ordered the termination of the proceedings against Mustafa Badreddine, without prejudice to the right to resume the proceedings, should evidence that he is alive emerge in the future.