Monday, June 18, 2018

Trial Chamber reschedules filing of final briefs and oral closing arguments in July and August 2018 in the Ayyash et al. case

Trial Chamber reschedules filing of final briefs and oral closing arguments in July and August 2018 in the Ayyash et al. case

Leidschendam, 13 June 2018 - The Trial Chamber ordered the Prosecutor and the Legal Representatives of Victims in the Ayyash et al. case to file their final trial briefs by Monday 16 July 2018 and the Defence counsel for the four Accused by 13 August 2018.

In a revised scheduling order issued yesterday, the Trial Chamber stated that it will hear oral closing arguments from the parties and participating victims in the weeks of Monday 27 August to Friday 7 September 2018.

Under Rule 147 of the STL Rules of Procedure and Evidence, following the presentation of all the evidence, the Prosecutor, the participating victims and the Defence may file final trial briefs and present closing arguments.

The presentation of the closing arguments concludes the trial in the Ayyash et al. case. The Judges will then withdraw to deliberate and will issue a Judgement in due course. A finding of guilt may be reached only when a majority of the Trial Chamber is satisfied that guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt (Rule 148).

Background information:

The Prosecution closed its case against the four Accused on 7 February 2018.

On 7 March 2018, the Trial Chamber dismissed an application for a judgement of acquittal, under Rule 167, made by the Defence of Mr Hussein Hassan Oneissi. No other Defence counsel made applications under this Rule.

Further, of the four Accused, only counsel for Mr Oneissi elected to present a Defence case.

In April, the Trial Chamber had initially scheduled the filing of final briefs and closing arguments for June and July, respectively, but the order was later suspended due to procedural developments.

UN Secretary-General appoints Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen as Head of the Defence Office at the STL

Leidschendam, 18 June 2018 – The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has appointed on 8 June Ms Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen to the post of Head of the Defence Office at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen, a French national, will assume her new functions in a few weeks, following a transitional period succeeding Maître François Roux who served as the Head of the Defence Office from March 2009 until February 2018.

Ms Le Fraper du Hellen has 25 years of experience in the fields of international and criminal law. From 2013 until her appointment, she was assigned to protect the interests and rights of the accused Hassan Habib Merhi at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, where she was admitted on the list of Counsel since 2012.

Ms Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen has been registered at the Montpellier Bar, France, since 1993. She first worked at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, before joining a Montpellier law firm. She has acquired an extensive experience in international criminal law namely at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has developed expertise in the field of human rights, and has undertaken a number of assessment missions on the state of human rights and the administration of justice in various countries throughout Europe and Africa. She has also been responsible for a number of applications before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Ms Dorothée Le Fraper du Hellen thanked the UN Secretary General for her nomination and quoted Silvio Pellico as an inspiration for her upcoming mission: "Whenever accusations are preferred, do not you disdain to hear a defence."

The STL President congratulated Ms Le Fraper du Hellen and said "one of the 'firsts' at the STL is the establishment of an independent Defence office. The equality of arms is an essential principal in criminal law in general and of course in international criminal law. I wish Ms Le Fraper all the best in performing her functions as the new Head of the Defence Office".

In accordance with Article 13 of the STL Statute, the United Nations Secretary-General, in consultation with the President of the Special Tribunal, appoints an independent Head of the Defence Office, who shall be responsible for the appointment of the Office staff and the drawing up of a list of Defence counsel. The Defence Office shall protect the rights of the Defence, provide support and assistance to Defence counsel and to the persons entitled to legal assistance, including, where appropriate, legal research, collection of evidence and advice.