Law - Motion challenging the legality of the establishment of the STL
 

Thu 10/05/2012 16:47

NNA - 10/5/2012 - The defence team for Mustafa Badreddine filed today a motion challenging the legality of the establishment of the STL, a press release by the STL media advisory indicated on Thursday.

In its Motion, the Badreddine team argues that the STL was unlawfully established and that the Security Council abused its powers by adopting resolution 1757 (2007). The main arguments put forward by the Defence are as follows:

-The Security Council abused its powers when it adopted resolution 1757 (2007) as the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri, and the deaths and wounding of many others, on 14 February 2005, while tragic, could not in any sense be considered to pose a threat to international peace and security. It did not constitute an armed conflict and it did not create any cross-border effects. While the Security Council had a wide margin of appreciation in deciding on threats to international peace and security, its powers were not unlimited, and were subject to review by the Courts, including by the STL;

-The Security Council invoked a putative threat to international peace and security in the case of resolution 1757, merely as a formal step to enable it to exercise its powers under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, when no such threat existed. In fact, it resorted to its Chapter VII powers only because the creation of the STL by means of treaty had failed. That was an abuse of the Security Council's powers under the United Nations Charter;

-The STL's creation was discriminatory. The creation of a Tribunal to try not simply a category of crimes committed in a region at a certain time, as had been done at the ICTY and ICTR, but only one criminal incident, was impermissibly selective, without precedent and an abuse of the Security Council's solemn powers;

-The Security Council had favoured one political tendency in Lebanon by establishing a Tribunal solely to try crimes associated with the assassination of Hariri and not, for example, other terrorist crimes or crimes resulting from the Israeli aggression in 2006;

-The Security Council had never before established an international tribunal to deal with terrorist crimes, not even in the case of international terrorism (such as the events of 9/11). The Hariri killing was properly characterised as a political assassination, which could only tendentiously be described as terrorism; it had no aspect whatsoever of international terrorism;

-The establishment of the STL was not an appropriate step, considering international law, the powers of the United Nations and state practice. Rather than promoting peace and security in the region, the STL's creation had had the opposite, de-stabilising effect - it had polarised Lebanese society, fragmented its confessional and political communities and jeopardised its fragile peace after years of internecine strife;

-That the Security Council's Chapter VII powers were improperly used is further revealed by the fact that the only State in the world which is obliged to cooperate with the STL is Lebanon, which would not be the case if the STL had been established by a bona fide exercise of Chapter VII powers by the Security Council in the name of the world community in response to a genuine threat to international peace and security;

-The STL was established in flagrant violation of Lebanon's Constitution and its sovereign equality under international law. Moreover the Security Council was well aware of this both before and at the time of the STL's creation since the Lebanese President repeatedly informed the UN Secretary-General of the fact. Moreover its establishment was procured by fraud and false representations, within the meaning of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties. This vitiated resolution 1757 and the annexed agreement establishing the STL;

-Under international law, in particular the Vienna Convention, a treaty cannot be brought into force coercively, against the will of one of the State Parties. Yet this is what the Security Council did when it coercively brought into force an agreement between Lebanon and the United Nations to set up the STL;

-Being unlawfully and unconstitutionally established, the STL was not "established by law", the minimum requirement for any judicial body worthy of the name. Accordingly the STL could not provide a fair trial to any accused, since an accused has a fundamental right to be tried by a tribunal "established by law";

The Badreddine team argues, based partly on the Tadic interlocutory appeal jurisdiction decision of the ICTY Appeals Chamber of 2 October 1995, that the STL has the jurisdiction to review the lawfulness of its own establishment (the principle known as la competence de la competence or Kompetenz Kompetenz), and by extension, the legality of the Security Council resolutions establishing the Tribunal.

The relief requested by the Defence is that the Trial Chamber state that the STL has been unlawfully established.

The Defence also filed a motion challenging the Trial Chamber's decision to proceed to hold a trial in absence.

The Badreddine team is represented by Mr. Antoine Korkmaz (lead counsel), Mr. John RWD Jones (co-counsel), Ms. Pauline Baranes and Ms. Sandra Delval (legal officers).
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL: Lebanese academics visit STL headquarters
 

Wed 9/05/2012 20:04

NNA - 9/5/2012 In a press release by STL, it said that deans and professors of a number of Lebanese universities have concluded a visit to the Tribunal.
Release said "The visit, which lasted from 7 to 9 May, included discussions with STL President Judge Sir David Baragwanath, as well as other senior Tribunal officials. Officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as professors of law and international legal experts in the Netherlands also met with the Lebanese academics."
The release added "The visit is part of the Inter-University Programme on International Criminal Law and Procedure which is aimed at law students in Lebanese Universities, currently at no cost to them. The Programme is organized in cooperation between the STL, the Asser Institute in The Netherlands and eight Universities in Lebanon. The course covers issues such as the history of international law, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of terrorism and the role of the STL, the rights of the accused in international criminal proceedings, and the role of victims."
"The visit allowed us to clarify certain points on the functioning of the STL like the major decisions taken, the protective measures in place for witnesses", said Philom�ne Nasr, Dean of the Law School at the Lebanese University. Her colleague, Leila Saad�, added: "The substantially informative round-tables gathering such prominent experts should include an additional day combining theory and practice".
Aida Azar, Vice-dean of the law school at Saint Joseph University, said that the visit allowed the participants to visualize what was for them theoretical so far.
Karim Mufty, Professor at La Sagesse University, believes that the visits to The Hague are very important because they allow an essential interaction with the different actors of international justice.
The universities participating in the programme are Beirut Arab University, Universit� Libanaise, Saint Joseph, La Sagesse, Notre Dame, Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, American University of Science and Technology and Universit� Antonine, Release concluded.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - # Daher, Harakeh elected as members of Higher Judicial Council
 

Tue 8/05/2012 12:22

NNA - 8/2/2012 - Judges Antoine Daher and Suheir Harakeh won Tuesday membership in the Higher Judicial Council after the elections conducted earlier today to appoint heads and advisors of the cassation chamber.

These elections carried out upon the call of the first President of the Court of Cassation, Judge Hatem Madi, represent a preliminary step toward forming the Higher Judicial Council after June 5.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - # Daher, Harakeh elected as members of Higher Judicial Council
 

Tue 8/05/2012 12:02

NNA - 8/2/2012 - Judges Antoine Daher and Suheir Harakeh won Tuesday membership in the Higher Judicial Council after the elections conducted earlier today to appoint heads and advisors of the cassation chamber.

These elections carried out upon the call of the first President of the Court of Cassation, Judge Hatem Madi, representing a preliminary step toward forming the Higher Judicial Council after June 5.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Sakr sues 21 persons
 

Fri 4/05/2012 14:08

NNA - 4/5/2012 - Government commissioner to the Military Court Judge Sakr Sakr sued today ( Friday) 21 persons including the ship "Lutfallah - 2" team and customs' agents.
L.Y.R.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - HJC meets over judicial affairs
 

Wed 2/05/2012 18:22

NNA - 2/5/2012 - The Higher Judicial Council convened on Wednesday under the chairmanship of State Prosecutor, Judge Saeed Mirza, with talks featuring high on an array of general judicial affairs.

 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Judge Saqr Issues Arrest Warrant for Crew!
 

Sat 28/04/2012 13:50


NNA -April 28, 2012 - Government Commissioner at the Military Tribunal Judge Saqr Saqr, issued an arrest warrant for all 10 members of the Lutfallah Ship crew and customs' seaport agent Ahmad Bernard today. The ship-laiden with assorted consignments of heavy and light weapons is allegedly bound for Syria.

Saqr's arrest warrant has been issued in the wake of joint investigations conducted by army and police intelligence services.

G.G./A.B

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Law - Mirza commissions Bitar to follow-up on 'NTV' attack incident
 

Mon 9/04/2012 22:15

NNA - 9/4/2012 - Prosecutor General, Judge Said Mirza, commissioned Court of Appeal Attorney General in the North, Judge Tarek Bitar, to examine the vehicle in which the "NTV" cameraman was killed during the shooting incident on Monday. He also commissioned Judge Bitar to hear the testimonies of the late's colleagues and eye witnesses, and to follow-up on the case in order to unveil the details of the crime.
 

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Law - Judge Ghaleb Ghanem runs for The Hague Court membership
 

Thu 5/04/2012 18:02

NNA - 5/4/2012 - Lebanon has officially named, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Judge Ghaleb Ghanem, former Head of the Higher Judicial Council, as candidate to a vacant membership post in The Hague Court.

The National News Agency correspondent indicated that there has been vacuum as Judge Aoun Shawkat Khasawena of Jordan left the post after his designation as the Prime Minister in office in his country.

Ghanem enjoys the support of the majority of the states in La Francophonie Organization and Arab countries.

Elections are scheduled to take place on forthcoming April 27 at the United Nations' General Assembly and the Security Council.

Candidates from India and Philippines are running for the post, earmarked to the Asian states' group, along with Judge Ghanem.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Baragwanath visits Mirza, Jabr
 

Wed 4/04/2012 15:48

NNA 4/4/2012 - The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), David Baragwanath, on Wednesday visited State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza, accompanied by Judge Ralf Riachi and a delegation.

Baragwanath inspected the three-room section particular to the STL at the General Prosecution's premises.

He was also keen to utter appreciation to Mirza, the judiciary, and the Lebanese government for their efforts exerted on the level of cooperating with the STL, a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Afterwards, Baragwanath and the accompanying delegation visited the Head of Beirut Bar Association, Nohad Jabr.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Baragwanath visits Mirza, Jabr
 

Wed 4/04/2012 15:48

NNA 4/4/2012 - The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), David Baragwanath, on Wednesday visited State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza, accompanied by Judge Ralf Riachi and a delegation.

Baragwanath inspected the three-room section particular to the STL at the General Prosecution's premises.

He was also keen to utter appreciation to Mirza, the judiciary, and the Lebanese government for their efforts exerted on the level of cooperating with the STL, a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Afterwards, Baragwanath and the accompanying delegation visited the Head of Beirut Bar Association, Nohad Jabr.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - # (UPDATE)Fayez Karam released from prison, says arrest political
 

Tue 3/04/2012 15:51

NNA - 03/04/2012 - Newly released retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam said on Tuesday that his arrest, which eventually lead to his imprisonment, was strictly political.

"My arrest was politically driven," he said, promising to give more details on future occasions.

Retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam earlier arrived at Rabieh for a meeting with Reform and Change Bloc head, Deputy General Michel Aoun. Karam was released today from al-Rihaniyya military prison.

The retired brigadier benefited from the draft law issued by the parliament last week, reducing the sentence term to 9 months.

Therefore, Karam would have been imprisoned for less than 2 years in line with the sentence ordered by a military judge after he was arrested in August 2010.

"A white Infiniti Jeep escorted by a huge convoy decorated with Karam's pictures transferred the retired general to Rabieh for a meeting with Aoun," NNA correspondent said earlier.
R.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - # (UPDATE)Fayez Karam released from prison, arrives at Rabieh
 

Tue 3/04/2012 14:06

NNA - 3/4/2012- Retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam arrived at Rabieh for a meeting with Reform and Change Bloc head, Deputy General Michel Aoun. Karam was released earlier on Tuesday from al-Rihaniyya military prison, National News Agency correspondent said.

Karam benefited from the draft law issued by the parliament last week reducing the sentence term to 9 months.

Therefore, Karam would have been imprisoned for less than 2 years in line with the sentence ordered by a military judge after he was arrested in August 2010.

"A white Infiniti Jeep escorted by a huge convoy decorated with Karam's pictures transferred the retired general to Rabieh for a meeting with Aoun," NNA correspondent added.
R.H.-L.Y.R.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - # Fayez Karam released from al-Rihaniyya prison
 

Tue 3/04/2012 13:39

NNA - 03/04/2012 - Retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam has been released from al-Rihaniyya military prison on Tuesday, National News Agency correspondent said.

Karam benefited from the draft law issued by the parliament last week reducing the sentence term to 9 months.

Therefore, Karam would have been imprisoned for less than 2 years in line with the sentence ordered by a military judge after he was arrested in August 2010.

"A white Infiniti Jeep escorted by a huge convoy decorated with Karam's pictures transferred the retired general to Rabieh for a meeting with Aoun," NNA correspondent added.
R.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved





 

Law - Fayez Karam to be set free
 

Tue 3/04/2012 12:29

NNA - 3/4/2012 - Rachad Salameh, lawyer of retired General Fayez Karam, told National News Agency that retired General Fayez Karam could benefit of the law of lowering the prison year after that law was mentioned in the official gazette, pointing out that procedures and paper-work to set Karam free.

Salameh said that the general cassation prosecutor, the authority responsible for accepting releasing applications, circulated a memo on all prisons' heads to take needed procedures to set free all those who benefit from the law .
L.Y.R/A.B

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Six Syrians, three Lebanese charged with arms smuggling
 

Mon 2/04/2012 12:08

NNA - 4/2/2012 - Military judge Saqer Saqer charged six Syrians and three Lebanese with trading and smuggling weapons to Syria through Al-Qaa region in the Bekaa valley.

The Lebanese army seized two trucks loaded with weapons destined to Syria few days ago.
O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Six Syrians, three Lebanese charged with arms smuggling
 

Mon 2/04/2012 12:08

NNA - 4/2/2012 - Military judge Saqer Saqer charged six Syrians and three Lebanese with trading and smuggling weapons to Syria through Al-Qaa region in the Bekaa valley.

The Lebanese army seized two trucks loaded with weapons destined to Syria few days ago.
O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Six Syrians, three Lebanese charged with arms smuggling
 

Mon 2/04/2012 12:08

NNA - 4/2/2012 - Military judge Saqer Saqer charged six Syrians and three Lebanese with trading and smuggling weapons to Syria through Al-Qaa region in the Bekaa valley.

The Lebanese army seized two trucks loaded with weapons destined to Syria few days ago.
O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Two persons charged with collaboraton with Israel
 

Fri 30/03/2012 12:07

NNA - 30/3/2012- Government commissioner to military court Judge Sakr Sakr accused today (Friday) two persons, one detained and the other still at large, of collaborating and communicating with the Israeli enemy.

The accusation was based on articles 287 of penal code.
Sakr referred the file and the accused to first military investigation Judge.

L.Y.R.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Kortbawi inspects Baalbek Justice Palace
 

Thu 29/03/2012 13:40

NNA - 29/3/2012 - Justice Minister Shakib Kortbawi reiterated on Thursday that every region in Lebanon must be rendered the concern it needs, during his tour in Baalbek Justice Palace.

The Minister who had visited the Palaces of Beirut, Tripoli, Jdeideh, Batroun, Sir and others shed light today on the bad conditions of Baalbek Justice Palace's building, assuring that the Ministry's potentials were limited yet he would do the best in his capacity to provide the least requirements.

"All Palaces of Justice in Lebanon need rehabilitation, yet the priority remains for Baalbek," Kortbawi said.

The Minister's tour was also aimed at checking on judges' work and conditions as well as at tackling with lawyers various judicial affairs that might interest them.

Kortbawi deemed as necessary to reduce the period of pre-trial detention and refer to courts so as to prevent criminals' being held in prison without trial.

The Minister separately confirmed that he approved on reducing the imprisonment year, as prisons are crowded enough.

"There should not be a general amnesty each year, as if we are telling the judges that there work was vain," he explained.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Military court presses charges against collaborator
 

Tue 27/03/2012 15:06

NNA - 27/3/2012 - The government commissioner before the military court, Judge Saqr Saqr, on Tuesday pressed charges against Jamil Rida Issa for collaboration with the Israeli enemy and entering the occupied lands, pursuant to articles 271 and 285 of the Penal Code.

The detainee was referred to the first military investigation judge.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi nominates five new Judicial Council candidates
 

Mon 26/03/2012 22:40

NNA - 26/03/2012 - Justice Minister, Shakib Qortbawi, said he would submit a decree to nominate five new members to the Higher Judicial Council to replace those whose mandate ends this month.

Qortbawi was speaking at a press conference Monday where he also discussed matters related to his ministry.

He said that the chairman has been designated in accordance with judicial standards and skills and not on political basis.

The minister also affirmed that Justice was practiced away from the media, making clear that all records were properly tackled.
"Consecutive meetings are held between the judges concerned sides to accelerate the productivity of Courts."

The Minister also made clear that appropriate measures were being taken to address the food safety issue.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Justice Palace devoid of attorneys
 

Mon 26/03/2012 10:58

NNA - 26/3/2012 - Bar Associations of Beirut and Tripoli decided not to work on Monday to protest for non-assigning a head for the Higher Judicial Council.

Lawyers of both syndicates also decided not to attend any session at the Justice palace today that was left devoid of "black caps."
L.W.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Beirut's court trials on LCD, online
 

Thu 22/03/2012 16:42

NNA - 22/03/2012 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi on Thursday set the start of displaying court trials via Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen, at the hall of Justice Ministry in Beirut.

The opening was attended by the director general of said ministry, Judge Omar Natour; Head of the Appeal Court in Beirut, Judge Jean Fahd; Chief of the Bar Association in Beirut, Nuhad Jabr; a delegation of the Lebanese Electronic Book House, which brought the project into effect.

The House's representatives informed the minister of the operation of such screen that would facilitate the path for attorneys and litigants to follow up the trials' procedures at the palace. Besides, the Lebanese Electronic Book House let judges and attorneys in this concern keep pace with the schedule of all trial sessions via internet on the following website: www.almustachar.com.
Cortbawi thanked the House for its accomplishments, assuring that more similar projects would be carried out in cooperation with the European Union.

A.M>

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Law - Beirut, Tripoli Bar Associations demur on failure to appoint HJC head
 

Wed 21/03/2012 17:37

NNA - 21/3/2012 - Heads of Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations, Nohad Jabr and Bassam Daya, on Wednesday announced the suspension of work next Monday, in objection to a cabinet failure to appoint a head for the Higher Judicial Council.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Jabr, Roux meet today
 

Tue 20/03/2012 18:07

NNA - 20/03/2012 - Head of the Defense Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Francois Roux, visited on Tuesday Beirut Bar Association Head, Nouhad Jabr, in presence of members of the Association board.

Roux, who came on a courtesy visit to Bar Association's main office, was accompanied by the four lawyers, one of them from Lebanese origins, charged with the defense of the four indicted.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL criminal association proceedings temporarily suspended
 

Fri 16/03/2012 19:17

NNA - 16/03/2012 President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has decided to temporarily suspend proceedings to define the crime of "criminal association" in an order Friday. This follows the Pre-Trial Judge's rejection of the Prosecutor's request to amend the indictment.

The STL is an international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in Beirut.

The Prosecution had filed a confidential request to amend the indictment on 8 February and sought to add a count of "criminal association" to the indictment. The Pre-Trial Judge then asked the Appeals Chamber to define "criminal association", which is an offence under the Lebanese Criminal Code (article 335).

The Pre-Trial Judge later rejected the Prosecution's request in a confidential decision on 13 March. The rejection was based on procedural grounds.

The President of the STL has now asked the parties and the Defence Office to make submissions on whether the Appeals Chamber should continue with the process of defining "criminal association".

 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Judges Baragwanat, Riachi re-elected as Tribunal President, Vice-President
 

Fri 16/03/2012 15:02

NNA - 16/3/2012 - On March 13, Judge Sir David Baragwanath was re-elected unanimously as the Tribunal's President and Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber, a statement by the media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) said on Friday.

The statement also said that the Appeals Chamber also voted unanimously to re-elect Judge Ralph Riachi of Lebanon as the Vice-President.

They will now serve 18-month terms.
Judge Baragwanath was first elected President after Judge Antonio Cassese stepped down in October 2011 on health grounds.

Under the Tribunal's Rules, Judges Baragwanath and Riachi continued to serve in their posts, following the end of their mandate (Rule 35(C)). The Appeals Chamber had to be fully constituted before an election could take place. The swearing-in ceremony of Judge Nsereko marked the return of the Appeals Chamber to full strength.

Judge Baragwanath brings nearly fifty years of legal experience to the Presidency. He has practised both as a defence and as a prosecution counsel. He has extensive experience in New Zealand as a High Court and Court of Appeal judge. He was also President of the New Zealand Law Commission.

Judge Riachi served as president of the Lebanese Disciplinary Council for Judges and was a member of the Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary until December 2008. He was elected ad litem judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2000. Until his appointment to the tribunal Judge Riachi served as president of the Criminal Chamber in the Lebanese Court of Cassation and was a member of the Court of Justice.

It is to note that for the biographies of Judges Baragwanath and Riachi, please visit the STL website.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved

















 

Law - Military tribunal sentences 22 in absentia and in presence
 

Fri 16/03/2012 10:07

NNA - 16/3/2012 - The permanent Military Tribunal headed by General Khalil Ibrahim sentenced 22 persons in absentia and in presence for committing various crimes across the country.

The crimes involved carrying unlicensed weapons in residential areas, transfer of arms and ammunition, cellular theft, bribery and impersonating military and security officers.
All of the accused received prison sentences and financial fines.

O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved




 

Law - Qortbawi capitalizes obligation for judges to recuperate citizens' trust
 

Tue 13/03/2012 18:43

NNA - 13/3/2012 - Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, said it was about time for judges in Lebanon to have their self-confidence back and to recuperate citizens' trust in them.

The Minister sponsored on Tuesday the closure of training sessions for 34 judges, within the frame of an EU-funded project, aimed to boost the Ministry's potential.

In a word delivered on the occasion, Qortbawi shone light on the responsibility which the Ministry of Justice bears in order that it should put the outcome of the aforesaid project in the context of modernizing the capacities of the judicial studies Institute as well as of enhancing the judicial power.

"The fruitful cooperation with the European Union indeed shows that we share the same interest about what is supposed to be the State of Law, which is an essential guarantee for citizens before justice and a condition for an effective neighborhood policy, between our country and the Union," said Qortbawi.

EU ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst, for her part, highlighted the necessity that judges constantly update their knowledge in the judicial domain, noting that each democratic country pro the State of Law must certainly look forward to an independent and valuable justice.

"The European Union continues to support justice so as to bolster its independence and professional aspect, for we do believe that independent justice and a well trained judicial body are paramount to guarantee equitable, transparent, and fair trials," she said.

It is to note that the ambassadors to Lebanon of France and Spain, respectively Denis Pietton and Juan Carlos Gafo, have also attended the event at the headquarters of the judicial studies Institute.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Lebanon-EU exchange expertise to boost judiciary's potentials
 

Tue 13/03/2012 15:19

NNA - 13/3/2012 - The Judicial and Legal Studies Institute ended Tuesday its training session for 34 male and female judges aimed at enhancing Justice Ministry's performance so as to guarantee judiciary's productivity and competence.

The training was held in presence of Justice Minister Shakib Cortbawi, the Head of the EU Delegation in Lebanon, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, the French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, the Spanish Ambassador Juan Carlos Gafo, and other ranking dignitaries of the judicial corps.

It basically focused on major topics which concern the judges in Lebanon at the level of the Civil Code, the Penal Code, the Code of Commerce and the Administrative Law.

This training actually targeted the formation of 34 trainees to become, in the future, capable of conveying their knowledge to others.

It in fact falls within the project entitled "enhancing Justice Ministry's potentials - supporting professionalism" funded by the European Union with an amount of 2.7 million Euros.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Owners of Fassouh collapsed building released
 

Tue 13/03/2012 10:35

NNA - 13/3/2012 - The owners of the collapsed building in Fassouh Claude and Michel Saade were released after paying the bail out amount of L.L 75 million each for the accusatory committee in Beirut.

This building collapsed two months ago, causing a number of dead and wounded.

A.A.M
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - New Prosecutor and Appeals Chamber Judge sworn in
 

Mon 12/03/2012 18:48

NNA - 12/3/2012 - The new Prosecutor of the STL, Norman Farrell, and the new Appeals Chamber Judge, Daniel Nsereko, have been sworn in this afternoon, a press release by the media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said on Monday.

"It is my devout hope and expectation that, with both Prosecution and Defence teams in place and the Chambers now back to full strength, we can together deliver justice in accordance with the law," said Judge Sir David Baragwanath, the Tribunal's President, in remarks delivered during the swearing in ceremony.

Norman Farrell of Canada will join the Tribunal upon the completion of his mandate as the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. A full biography of Mr. Farrell is available on the STL website.

Judge Daniel Nsereko of Uganda was until recently a Judge at the International Criminal Court. A biography of Judge Nsereko is also available on the Tribunal's website.

Portraits of the new Prosecutor and Appeals Chamber Judge can be downloaded from the STL's Flickr photo stream.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Mirza follows up on food safety, presses charges
 

Mon 12/03/2012 18:23

NNA - 12/3/2012 - State Prosecutor Judge Saeed Mirza on Monday followed up the much contentious issue of stale meat and fish, days after huge amounts of expired food were seized in many localities.

In Sabra, 22 tons of stale frozen meat exported from Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand were seized and sealed with red wax. The depot is owned by Suleiman and Samih Natour.

In Tiro locality, 262 kg of expired chopped beef meat, butter, green beans, fish filets and shrimps were confiscated. Also, tens of thousands kilograms of outdated meat and frozen garlic were also seized with a view to further damaging.

Besides, huge quantities of exported fish, sausages, butter, chicken and meat were found in a depot in Ghobeyreh.

Beirut Appeal Prosecutor, Judge George Karam, pressed charges against Natour brothers and referred them before the first investigation judge.

Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, for his part, had accordingly sent letters to the State Prosecution, hereby calling for tightening measures on the level of expired meat issue.

In Mraijeh, Ahmed Farouq Al-Ashi and Farouq Mohammad Al-Ashi were arrested, as six thousands of stale meats were found in a garbage dump. Both have said they were guilty as charged.

Furthermore, charges were pressed against butcher Ayoub Najib Hasrouni, as 4183 kg of expired meat were seized in his pick-up truck.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved
 


Law - Live Twitter session with head of STL's Victims' Participation Unit
 

Mon 12/03/2012 16:45

NNA - 12/3/2012 - The chief of the Victims' Participation Unit, Alain Grellet, will answer questions in a live Twitter session on Tuesday 13 March from 2PM to 4PM Central European time (3PM to 5PM Beirut time), a press release by the media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicated on Monday.

The STL is one of only a few international tribunals which allow victims to participate in judicial proceedings. As the chief of the unit, Mr Grellet oversees the efforts to engage victims, as well as administering legal aid where necessary.

This session is part of an ongoing initiative by the STL to interact directly with the people of Lebanon through the STL Twitter account. Members of the public are encouraged to request sessions with other key members of the Tribunal.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved









 

Law - Live Twitter session with head of STL's Victims' Participation Unit
 

Mon 12/03/2012 15:58

NNA - 12/3/2012 - The chief of the Victims' Participation Unit, Alain Grellet, will answer questions in a live Twitter session on Tuesday 12 March from 2PM to 4PM Central European time (3PM to 5PM Beirut time), a press release by the media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicated on Monday.

The STL is one of only a few international tribunals which allow victims to participate in judicial proceedings. As the chief of the unit, Mr Grellet oversees the efforts to engage victims, as well as administering legal aid where necessary.

This session is part of an ongoing initiative by the STL to interact directly with the people of Lebanon through the STL Twitter account. Members of the public are encouraged to request sessions with other key members of the Tribunal.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved










 

Law - Daouk: Judiciary and media two facets of same coin
 

Thu 8/03/2012 20:14

NNA - 8/3/2012 Information Minister Walid Daouk drew a similarity between judiciary and media in their complementary roles, saying they both constitute two facets of the same coin in exposing law trespasses and safeguarding rights.

Minister Daouk's words came during a ceremony held Thursday afternoon at Rahbani Brothers Theater-St Elias Monastery- Antelias, to re-launch "Judicial Magazine" by "Sader Publishers" - Legal Publications. Daouk's word was delivered on his behalf by his Advisor Andree Qassas.

Reading out the Minister's word, Qassas said "The state of law and right cannot rise except through fruitful, efficient, productive and positive cooperation between media and judiciary... Both- hand in hand- are capable of pushing values of justice and equality forward."
As such, the Minister called for expanding the horizon of cooperation between judicial apparatuses and media body through a project law put forward
by the government to the House of Parliament, that gives access to all citizens, notably mediamen, to reach information that enable them to expose rights and truth.

Qassas also regarded "Judicial Magazine" as a specialized scientific magazine abundant with legal researches, which shall be at the disposal of all judges, lawyers, lawmen and law students.

It is to note that the ceremony comes within the framework of Lebanese Festival for Books, organized by Cultural Movement-Antelias.
------------------L.Y

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Deadline to file written submissions on "criminal association"
 

Thu 8/03/2012 16:52

NNA - 8/3/2012 - The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) announced Thursday that the Prosecution and Defence counsel have been asked to file written submissions to the Appeals Chamber on the crime of "criminal association" (under Article 335 of the Lebanese Criminal Code).

The parties have until 15 March to submit their arguments to the Appeals Chamber along with arguments on whether an oral hearing should take place.

The Defence Office has also been invited to comment on how this matter may affect the rights of the accused.

The Prosecution asked in February for the addition of the count of "criminal association" to the indictment. The Pre-Trial Judge is reviewing the Prosecution's filing and has requested the Appeals Chamber to define the crime of "criminal association."
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL publishes third annual report
 

Wed 7/03/2012 16:53

NNA - 7/3/2012 - The third annual report detailing the activities of the Tribunal during the past year is now available on the STL website, a press release by the media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicated on Wednesday.

A copy of the report was sent last week to the UN Secretary-General and the Lebanese Prime Minister.

"Our primary role is to serve the people of Lebanon by independent and impartial investigation and trial, fully protective of the rights of the accused and mindful of the interests of victims, of whatever cases the evidence supports," said Judge Sir David Baragwanath, the STL President.

"We must strive, as our Statute requires, to meet the highest standards of international criminal justice, and thereby contribute to further strengthening the rule of law in Lebanon," he added.

The report marks the beginning of the STL's second mandate, which began on 1 March and will continue for another three years. During the past year, the Tribunal saw a flurry of judicial activity with the Pre-Trial Judge confirming an indictment in the case of Ayyash et al and establishing jurisdiction over three cases connected to the 14 February 2005 attack.

The Trial Chamber convened for the first time, held its first public hearing and decided that the four accused in the case would be tried in absentia. Defence counsel for the accused were sworn in and victims applied to participate in the Tribunal's proceedings.

The Prosecution also submitted a request to amend the indictment and its investigations continue.

Judge Baragwanath was elected as the Tribunal's President in October after Judge Antonio Cassese stepped down on health grounds, and a new Prosecutor and Appeals Judge were appointed.

The unwavering support for the Tribunal's mission was demonstrated with contributions from 26 states on five continents, as well as Lebanon's payment of its share of the Tribunal's budget.

The disclosure of documents to Mr Jamil El Sayed in relation to his detention in Lebanon prior to the Tribunal's creation continues under the supervision of the Pre-Trial Judge.

Below are some statistics from the annual report:

The approved budget for 1 January 2012 - 31 December 2012 amounts to EUR 55.3 million

26 countries, as well as the European Union, contributed to the Tribunal in 2011.

More than 350 formal Requests for Assistance were dispatched to Lebanon and other States by the Prosecution.

Nearly 300 interviews were conducted during about 100 missions by the Prosecution.

132 counsel were included on the List of Counsel by the Defence Office.

362 staff are employed by the Tribunal representing 62 nationalities, including 50 staff from Lebanon

101,055 pages of official court documents have been filed.

17,300 pages have been translated by the Language Services Section into three languages

The STL Spokesperson answered more than 1,000 media inquiries from journalists.

750 individuals visited STL

73 victims applied to participate in STL proceedings.

Timeline of events:

11 March 2011; The Prosecutor filed an amended indictment following the gathering and analysis of further evidence.

6 May 2011; The Prosecutor filed an amended indictment that included "substantive new elements".

12 May 2011; The Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen ordered the Prosecutor to release more than 270 documents to Mr Jamil El Sayed.

28 June 2011; The Pre-Trial Judge confirmed the indictment and ordered that it remain confidential.

30 June 2011; The indictment was served on the Lebanese authorities, who were given 30 days to report on their efforts to search for, arrest and transfer the accused.

8 July 2011; The Pre-Trial Judge issued international arrest warrants against the accused.

12 July 2011; The Victims' Participation Unit opened applications from victims of the 14 February 2005 attack to participate in STL proceedings.

29 July 2011; The Pre-Trial Judge ordered the partial unsealing of the indictment, to reveal the identity of the accused and the charges against them.

17 August 2011; The indictment and the decision confirming it were unsealed.

18 August 2011; The STL President ordered the public advertisement of the indictment and called for an intensification of efforts to detain those accused.

19 August 2011; The Tribunal established jurisdiction over three attacks relating to Marwan Hamadeh, Elias al Murr and George Hawi.

8 September 2011; The STL President convened the Trial Chamber in the Ayyash et al. case.

7 October 2011; The Appeals Chamber ruled that statements of certain witnesses must be provided swiftly by the Prosecutor to Mr Jamil El Sayed. The decision partly confirmed a previous ruling by the Pre-Trial Judge.

9 October 2011; Judge Antonio Cassese steps down as STL President.

10 October 2011; Judge Sir David Baragwanath is elected unanimously as the President of STL and Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber.

17 October 2011; The Pre-Trial Judge requested the Trial Chamber to decide on in absentia proceedings.

20 October 2011; The Trial Chamber called for submissions on in absentia proceedings.

21 October 2011; Judge Antonio Cassese, the STL's first President, passed away.

11 November 2011; The Trial Chamber held its first hearing to receive arguments and submissions from the Prosecution and the Defence Office about starting in absentia proceedings.

15 November 2011; Deputy Registrar Kaoru Okuizumi was sworn in.

1 December 2011; The STL received Lebanon's contribution to the 2011 budget.

14 December 2011; The STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare announced that he would not seek reappointment for a second term as Prosecutor.

1 February 2012; The Trial Chamber decides to try the four accused in Ayyash et al. in their absence.

2 February 2012; The Head of Defence Office assigned permanent counsel for the accused in the case of Ayyash et al.

8 February 2012; The Prosecution submitted a request to amend the indictment

10 February 2012; The Victims' Participation Unit transmits 73 applications to participate in proceedings from individuals who claim to have suffered harm during the 14 February 2005 attack to the Pre-Trial Judge

15 February 2012; The Defence counsel are sworn in

29 February 2012; The UN Secretary-General announces that he has appointed Norman Farrell to be the STL Prosecutor and Judge Daniel Nsereko to be an Appeals Chamber judge.
 

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Law - STL responds to NNA on request to define crime of "criminal association"
 

Fri 2/03/2012 18:11

NNA - 2/3/2012 - The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indicated, in response to an emailed question by the National News Agency on "criminal association," that the Pre Trial Judge has requested the Appeals Chamber to define the crime of "criminal association" following the Prosecution's recent request to amend the indictment.

A press release by STL media advisory said that on 8 February, the Prosecution requested to amend the indictment in a confidential filing only to the Pre Trial Judge. The contents of the amended indictment remain confidential. The Prosecution is seeking to add a new count to the indictment of "criminal association", which is an offence under the Lebanese Penal Code (article 335).

Under the Tribunal's Rules, the Pre Trial Judge may ask the Appeals Chamber to deal with such preliminary questions. This happened last year when the Appeals Chamber was asked to define terrorism and conspiracy, amongst other crimes. At that time, the Appeals Chamber was not called on to define the crime of "criminal association".

The Pre Trial Judge will rely on the Appeals Chamber's definition in his review of the Prosecution's request to amend the indictment. He can confirm or reject the proposed amendments completely or in part.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Request to define the crime of "criminal association"
 

Fri 2/03/2012 13:50

NNA - 2/3/2012 The Pre Trial Judge has requested the Appeals Chamber to define the crime of "criminal association" following the Prosecution's recent request to amend the indictment.
On 8 February, the Prosecution requested to amend the indictment in a confidential filing only to the Pre Trial Judge. The contents of the amended indictment remain confidential. The Prosecution is seeking to add a new count to the indictment of "criminal association", which is an offence under the Lebanese Penal Code (article 335).
Under the Tribunal's Rules, the Pre Trial Judge may ask the Appeals Chamber to deal with such preliminary questions. This happened last year when the Appeals Chamber was asked to define terrorism and conspiracy, amongst other crimes. At that time, the Appeals Chamber was not called on to define the crime of "criminal association".
The Pre Trial Judge will rely on the Appeals Chamber's definition in his review of the Prosecution's request to amend the indictment. He can confirm or reject the proposed amendments completely or in part.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL President answers frequently asked questions on video
 

Thu 1/03/2012 16:55

NNA - 1/3/2012 - The STL media advisory issued Thursday the following:

"The first public statements by Judge Sir David Baragwanath, the Tribunal's President, on a number of key issues including the so-called "false witnesses" and connected cases, are now available on the STL website.
The videos are available on http://www.stl-tsl.org/en/ask-the-tribunal as well as the STL Youtube channel and high-resolution versions are being distributed to broadcast media.

In the videos, the STL President addresses the issues of the so-called "false witnesses", how the Tribunal determines connected cases, whether the STL can try political assassinations that occurred in Lebanon after 2005 or the deaths of Lebanese civilians in the 2006 war, and how the STL contributes to the rule of law in Lebanon."
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Arrest warrant for exchanger killer
 

Thu 1/03/2012 11:42

NNA - First t investigator judge in Sidon Afif Barakat issued an arrest warrant on Syrian national Mohammed Hassan al Fares for killing and robbing exchange currency dealer Mohammed Natout.

The judge issued this arrest warrant after interrogating the accused.

The judge will speed up the investigation in order to hand over the accused to the court.

O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi tours in Beirut Palace Justice before maintenance

 

Wed 29/02/2012 16:06

NNA - 29/02/2012 - Maintenance works for supporting the Palace Justice of Beirut will start Wednesday, and on the occasion, Palace Justice Shakib Qortbawi toured Wednesday in the place and the parking lots surrounding it.

In his tour, Qortbawi was accompanied by the director general of said ministry Omar Natour and others.

Separately, Qortbawi received a delegation of the representatives of visual media, chaired by the Media National Council head Abdul Hadi Mahfouz, with talks featuring high on the question of control regarding TV programs.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved






 

Law - Saqr presses charges against incriminated with arms trafficking
 

Mon 27/02/2012 14:31

NNA - 27/2/2012 - State commissioner before the military court, Judge Saqr Saqr, on Monday pressed charges against a detainee and two justice absconders, incriminated with arms trafficking, storing, and selling, in the weapons depot which exploded this month in Tripoli.

Subsequently, the related dossier was forwarded before the first investigation judge, as per article 72-Lebanese weapons code.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved



 

Law - Eichhorst: for legal frames to handle disappearance file
 

Fri 24/02/2012 18:48
NNA - 24/2/2012 European Union (EU) Commission Head in Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst underscored the importance of discussing the project law for those who compulsorily went missing, considering this matter as entailing an oppression that should be set right.

Ambassador Eichhorst called for proceeding ahead with ensuring the requisite legal frames for the right to know the whereabouts of those who went missing and the restoration of justice.

Eichhorst's words came during a round table held Friday morning at "Jefinore-Rotana" Hotel in Beirut, organized by International Center for Transitional Justice on "The right of Knowledge- Project Law Proposal for Those who Compulsorily Went Missing", funded by the EU.

The round table session was attended by Justice Minister Shakib Qertbawi's Representative Massoud Nahra, House Commission for Human Rights Rapporteur Ghassan Mkahiber, Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon Juan Carlos and representatives of civil society and concerned ministries.

Eichhorst called on Lebanon to adopt the international agreement for the protection of persons from compulsory disappearance, hoping that the Lebanese House of Parliament will be capable of achieving a progress at the level of today's proposed matter.
------------------L.Y

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Higher Judicial Council discusses judicial affairs
 

Tue 21/02/2012 16:54

NNA - 21/2/2012 - The Higher Judicial Council on Tuesday reportedly tackled an array of ordinary judicial affairs.

The Council convened today under the chairmanship of State Prosecutor, Judge Saeed Mirza.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved
 


Law - STL issues amendments to the Rules of the Tribunal
 

Mon 20/02/2012 19:45

NNA - 20/02/2012 - The Judges of the STL have approved some amendments to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence (RPE). There were a limited number of changes, which clarified the existing rules especially in relation to victims. These include:

The Prosecution, Defence and the Victims' Participation Unit (VPU) can make submissions on requests from victims wishing to participate in the proceedings. Submissions are limited to legal issues to protect the confidentiality of victims' applications.

The Pre-Trial Judge will decide on the grouping of victims wishing to participate in the proceedings. This decision cannot be appealed.
It will now be easier for victims who participate in the proceedings to also appear as witnesses before the Tribunal.

The Judges also decided that the Prosecution must immediately inform the Head of the Defence Office about the arrest of a suspect or an accused. This will strengthen the rights of the Defence. The updated RPE are available on the STL website.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Death sentence for collaborators with Israel
 

Fri 17/02/2012 21:02

NNA - 17/02/2012 The permanent military court issued Friday a death sentence for three Lebanese collaborators with Israel, and two years hard labor for another.

Brigadier Nizar Khalil announced his final verdicts before his retirement tomorrow.

Haitham and Sahira Sahmarany, along with Mohammad Amine Khazaal received capital punishment for dealing with the Jewish state. However, only Haitham was in custody, while the other two were tried in absentia.

In her turn, Raghida Daher got a two-year-hard labor sentence for similar charges; while the same sentence was issued against Aasem Hammoud for planning to blow up tunnels in the US.

R.Z.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Fassouh building owners set free on bail
 

Thu 16/02/2012 20:51

NNA - 16/02/2012 Two owners of collapsed building in Beirut were set free on bail of forty million Lebanese Pounds, upon notice by Appeals Attorney General who noted that plaintiffs may appeal this ruling, NNA correspondent reported Thursday.

A building in Fassouh in the Achrafieh region of Beirut collapsed last January killing 27 and injuring at least 10 others. Owners of the building, Claude and Michel Saadeh, denied culpability. However, they were arrested pending a trial against them.

Despite release of the defendants, lawyers of the victims stated to the media that they have begun an appeal process that would send them back behind bars.

R.Z.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL Defence counsel sworn in
 

Wed 15/02/2012 20:02

NNA - 15/2/2012 - The eight lawyers assigned to represent the accused in the case of Rafik Hariri assassination have been sworn in Wednesday.
A press release by the Media Advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicated that the counsel were assigned by the Defence Office to the four men accused of carrying out the 14 February 2005 attack. The STL Trial Chamber recently ruled that in absentia proceedings should be held in this case.
All the defence counsel signed a declaration that they will exercise their duties "with integrity and diligence, honourably, freely, expeditiously and conscientiously". The counsel also committed to "scrupulously respect professional confidentiality and the other duties imposed by the Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel Appearing Before the Tribunal".
"This undertaking is an important step for counsel to accept the responsibilities bestowed upon them", said Fran�ois Roux, the Head of the Defence Office. "It underlines the high ethical standards that counsel need to perform their difficult and challenging tasks", he added.
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Sir David Baragwanath told the counsel, "I welcome you to the STL and wish you well in exercising the vital role you have accepted, both for the rights of the accused and in the interests of the rule of law in Lebanon and the international community."
Biographies of the defence counsel will be available on the STL website in due course.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi Inaugurating Anti-Torture Gathering
 

Tue 14/02/2012 13:24

NNA - 14/02/2012 - Minister of Justice Shakeeb Qortbawi, inaugurated the anti-Torture Gathering organized by the E.U.-sponsored Association for Justice and Mercy at the House of the Lawyer early today.

Highlighting Gathering's agenda would be the prevention of torture under circumstances of incarceration or arrest.

Taking the word the Interior minister's special representative Charbel Matar, disclosed an anti-torture blueprint in the making. He pledged ministerial cracking down on whoever dares to exact torture on anyone who happens to be under police custody or behind bars.

Minister Qortbawi for his part said he was appalled at extremely bad incarceration conditions at Roumyeh prison albeit, efforts undertaken by the Interior ministry in a bid to ameliorate the situation must be praised. He however acknowledged that lots need to be done yet.


G.G./R.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Media Advisory: Plenary of STL Judges starts
 

Wed 8/02/2012 14:07

NNA - 8/2/2012 - The Judges of the STL are meeting today and tomorrow to discuss a number of proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, as well as other issues relating to the work of the Tribunal. The proposed amendments were put forward by the Tribunal's four organs.
A press release about any approved changes to the rules will be issued in due course.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Two Lebanese detained for smuggling arms to Syrian opposition
 

Tue 7/02/2012 11:07

NNA - 7/2/2012 - Military investigation judge Immad Zein interrogated two Lebanese citizens accused of smuggling arms to the Syrian opposition through the town of Arsal.

O.H

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL Press Release: Assignment of permanent counsel
 

Thu 2/02/2012 17:26

NNA - 2/2/2012 - Media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Thursday issued the following:

"The Head of Defence Office assigned permanent counsel to the four accused in the case Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al.
The Trial Chamber decided that the accused will be tried in absentia. Today the Pre-Trial Judge requested the assignment of counsel.
The Head of Defence Office assigned the eight counsel that were previously assigned as duty counsel. He stated that "he is confident that he assigns experienced and competent counsel. They are fully independent and can choose any strategy they see best fit to defend the rights of the accused."
The Prosecutor is now required to disclose the indictment supporting materials to the counsel within 30 working days.
The defence counsel faces the difficult task of representing and defending the accused without communicating with him. In order to assist in achieving equality of arms, the Defence Office shall provide counsel with legal advice and practical support.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Bellemare meets Hamade, others
 

Fri 27/01/2012 19:24

NNA - 27/1/2012 - Former prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, on Friday visited State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza his office in the Justice Palace, where he also met with MP Marwan Hamade, journalist May Chidiaq, and widow of martyr George Hawi, Sossi Madayan.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi, Libyan delegation follow up Sadr's case
 

Fri 27/01/2012 15:56

NNA - 27/01/2012 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi followed up Friday on the latest investigations into the case of missing Imam Moussa Sadr and his colleague Sheikh Mohammad Yakoub with a visiting delegation of Libyan judges.
R.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations visit ends
 

Thu 26/01/2012 19:30

NNA - 26/1/2012 - Media advisory of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Thursday issued the following press release:

On 25 January, a delegation from the Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations, led by the Chairmen Mr Nouhad Jabre and Mr Basam Daye, paid a visit to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The participants were received by the President of the Tribunal and the three other Heads of Organ or their representatives.
They attended legal presentations by representatives of Chambers, the Registry and, among others, the Head of the Victims Participation Unit, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Defence Office.
In addition, participants had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the courtroom and its technical and electronic features. They were able also to find out about the measures taken for the protection of the witnesses, as well as those for hearings by videoconference. Participants were reminded in this context that the accused may, subject to a number of procedural conditions and with authorisation from the Chamber, participate in the hearings by way of videoconference link.
Bassam Daye, of the Tripoli Bar Association praised the Tribunal's insistence on achieving truth and justice and protecting the rights of the defense.
"Everyone emerged with a positive impression and the consensus was that the right to agree or disagree on legal matters is legitimate and that the Tribunal is an establish reality and everyone has to interact with it and present their legal concerns to it," Mr. Daye said.
The head of the Beirut Bar Association, Nouhad Jabre said, "we look forward to repeating this experience with other colleagues who will gain the knowledge in the fired of international law which is unavailable to them in Lebanon."
This visit enabled the participants to put many questions and gave the speakers the opportunity to explain that the Tribunal operates outside of any political influence. Its sole aim is to hear and determine cases and render justice, by holding trials that are fair, with equality of arms between the prosecution and the defence, with the participation of the victims, and observing the highest international standards.

 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Bellemare visits Mirza
 

Thu 26/01/2012 16:48

NNA - 26/1/2012 - Former prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge Daniel Bellemare, on Thursday visited State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza, on a farewell visit.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi meets Bellemare
 

Thu 26/01/2012 14:54

NNA - 26/01/2012 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi on Thursday met with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, who visited him in the company of Judge Joyce Tabet.

 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Judge Ramadan to NNA: to follow tomorrow interrogations regarding diesel
 

Wed 25/01/2012 16:29

NNA - 25/01/2012 - Audit Department head, Judge Aouni Ramadan, said he would follow up tomorrow Thursday at his office interrogations in connection with the diesel file.

Ramadan said it was decided, in light of his interrogations conducted today with directors of Oil Facilities in Tripoli and Zahrani, to send auditors to Deir Ammar Plant in the North to check out bills and documents in this concern.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Two-year imprisonment for Fayez Karam
 

Tue 24/01/2012 18:51

NNA - 24/1/2012 - The Military Cassation Court, chaired by Judge Alice Shabtini, today sentenced retired General Fayez Karam to two-year imprisonment, National News Agency correspondent reported on Tuesday.

Karam was not however deprived of his rights.


R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Verdict in Fayez Karam case today
 

Tue 24/01/2012 17:30

NNA - 24/1/2012 - A verdict in the case of Fayez Karam, accused of collaboration with the Israeli enemy, is expected to be issued today, as reported by the National news Agency correspondent on Tuesday.

The Military Cassation Court today followed up on the retired General's case, under the chairmanship of Judge Alice Shabtini.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved
 


Law - STL Head of Defense Office to answer citizens' questions today
 

Tue 24/01/2012 14:08

NNA - 24/1/2012 -The Head of the Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Francois Roux, will be answering questions from Lebanese citizens and the general public on Tuesday 24 January from 2 pm to 4 pm Central European Time (3 to 5 pm Beirut time).

The principal duty of the Defence office is to protect the rights of the accused which is an essential requirement for a fair trial. It provides legal assistance and support to the defence counsel. The Office itself does not represent any suspects or accused.

Mr Roux will only be able to answer questions which relate to his responsibilities as the Head of the Defence Office.
Questions directed to Mr Roux should contain the hashtag #STLDefence or be directed to the official STL Twitter account @STLebanon.


 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Arrest warrants against Fassouh building owners
 

Mon 23/01/2012 14:54

NNA - 23/1/2012 - Beirut First Investigation Judge Ghassan Oueidat on Monday issued two arrest warrants against Michel and Claude Saade, owners of Fassouh building, which collapsed last week.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Economy - Aridi inspects Kleiaat airport
 

Mon 23/01/2012 12:29

NNA - 23/1/2012 - Public Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi accompanied by a delegation arrived on Monday to Kleiaat airport to inspect the facility and to be briefed on its technical and construction needs.
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Justice Minister follows up on array of affairs
 

Fri 20/01/2012 17:12

NNA - 20/1/2012 - Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, on Friday met with State Prosecutor Judge Saeed Mirza, government commissioner before the Military Court, Judge Saqr Saqr, Appeal Prosecutors from all districts, and all first investigation judges at the Higher Judicial Council premises in the Justice Palace.

The two-hour meeting featured high on the means to improve the performance of judiciary and speeding up trials.

The Minister later met with Belgian ambassador to Lebanon, Colette Taquet.

Qortbawi also met today with Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani.

R.A.H.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved







 

Law - Appeal Deputy Prosecutor inculpates collapsed building's owners
 

Fri 20/01/2012 11:31

NNA - 20/1/2012 - Deputy Appeal General Prosecutor, Judge Georges Karam, filed a lawsuit Friday against the owners of the collapsed building in Fassouh, Ashrafieh.

The arrested owners were inculpated as the collapse led to deaths and injuries among the building's inhabitants.

The lawsuit was filed as per articles 564 - 565 of the penal code.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - STL Head of the Defence Office to answer questions live on Twitter
 

Wed 18/01/2012 16:38

NNA - 18/01/212 - Leidschendam - STL media advisory issued Wednesday the following press release, "The Head of the Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Francois Roux, will be answering questions from Lebanese citizens and the general public on Tuesday 24 January from 2 pm to 4 pm Central European Time (3 to 5 pm Beirut time)."

"The principal duty of the Defence Office is to protect the rights of the accused which is an essential requirement for a fair trial. It provides legal assistance and support to the defence counsel. The Office itself does not represent any suspects or accused."

"Mr Roux will only be able to answer questions which relate to his responsibilities as the Head of the Defence Office."

"Questions directed to Mr Roux should contain the hashtag #STLDefence or be directed to the official STL Twitter account @STLebanon."
 

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - General Prosecution investigates in collapsed building incident
 

Mon 16/01/2012 13:03

NNA - 16/1/2012 - General Prosecution in Beirut chaired by General Prosecutor Judge George Karam investigated in the incident of the collapsed building in Ashrafieh.

Karam is supervising the preliminary investigations which is conducted by Ashrafieh police station.

Karam attended on Sunday the scene of the incident and inspected the wounded at the hospitals.

A.A.M

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Lebanese accused of collaborating with Israel
 

Wed 11/01/2012 14:45

NNA - 11/1/2012 - Government commissioner to the military court, Judge Sakr Sakr, inculpated Wednesday a Lebanese person, retired from OGERO, accused of collaborating with the Israeli enemy and providing information to its officers abroad for amounts of money.

The sentence was issued as per articles 278 and 274 of the penal code, stipulating death penalty.
D.K.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - 9 MOF employees indicted on waste of public funds
 

Wed 11/01/2012 14:28

NNA - 1/11/2012 General Prosecutor of Finance Tani Lattouf indicted Wednesday the company of Commerce "Makhoul" as well as 9 employees of the Ministry of Finance, at the added value tax department, charged with waste of public funds, documents' falsification, misuse of money and gross negligence in their duties.

Judge Lattouf referred the case before the First Instance Judge, asking him to issue arrest warrants in absentia against those involved.

L.W.

NNA 2012 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi highlights importance of judiciary's independence
 

Thu 29/12/2011 15:07

NNA - 29/12/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi on Thursday shed light on the primordial national role played by the judicial sector and the Justice Ministry, underscoring the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary, giving each person his right regardless of his confessional or political belonging.

Qortbawi made these remarks during a ceremony organized by the Justice Ministry in honor of its employees, in presence of ranking dignitaries.

Minister Qortbawi thanked herein all those who exerted efforts during this year for the sake of the Ministry, calling upon them to pursue their work and assume full responsibility despite the modest potentials available, due to the country's financial situation.

"I hope the year 2012 would bring peace to the country," he said, calling on the Lebanese to remain united in light of the region's unrest and to preserve conviviality amongst different confessions by respecting one another.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Law - Qortbawi highlights importance of judiciary's independence
 

Thu 29/12/2011 15:07

NNA - 29/12/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi on Thursday shed light on the primordial national role played by the judicial sector and the Justice Ministry, underscoring the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary, giving each person his right regardless of his confessional or political belonging.

Qortbawi made these remarks during a ceremony organized by the Justice Ministry in honor of its employees, in presence of ranking dignitaries.

Minister Qortbawi thanked herein all those who exerted efforts during this year for the sake of the Ministry, calling upon them to pursue their work and assume full responsibility despite the modest potentials available, due to the country's financial situation.

"I hope the year 2012 would bring peace to the country," he said, calling on the Lebanese to remain united in light of the region's unrest and to preserve conviviality amongst different confessions by respecting one another.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Law - Wael Abbass interrogated in abduction of Estonians
 

Mon 19/12/2011 10:49

NNA 19/12/2011 - Military judge Fadi Sawan interrogated detainee Wael Abbass who is the head of the mob which abducted the seven Estonians in Lebanon several months ago and the slaying of soldier Rashed Sabri.

The interrogation lasted for 11 hours and the judge listened to a number of witnesses in these two cases.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi opens new bakery in Roumieh prison
 

Fri 16/12/2011 19:14

NNA - 16/12/2011 Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi visited Friday Roumieh penitentiary to inaugurate new bakery, as part of improving prisoners' living conditions.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) offered technical support for said project, which was funded by Denmark and the Netherlands.

"The process, although long and full of hardship, will continue until jails are in adequate condition to act as centers for reform and rehabilitation," Qortbawi said.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Bellemare decides not to seek reappointment for a second term
 

Wed 14/12/2011 18:36

NNA - 14/12/2011 In a press release by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), it said "STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that, for health reasons, he does not intend to seek reappointment for a second term as Prosecutor at the end of February 2012."
Bellemare stated "It has been an honour and a privilege to seek justice for the people of Lebanon. While this long and difficult journey is far from over, solid foundations have been laid to achieve justice and accountability for the attack of 14 February 2005 and connected cases, through the rule of law."
"I am proud to leave behind a strong team of committed professionals who have assisted me in the past three years in carrying out our challenging mandate and will continue to ensure that justice is achieved for the people of Lebanon," said Prosecutor Bellemare.
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NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Collaborator Marwan Faqih receives verdict
 

Wed 14/12/2011 18:21

NNA - 14/12/2011 - The Permanent Military Court, headed by General Nizar Khalil, today sentenced Marwan Faqih to 20 years of hard labor for collaboration with the Israeli enemy.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Military prosecution investigates Tyre explosion
 

Fri 9/12/2011 12:02

NNA - 9/12/2011 - Military General Prosecution, under the chairmanship of State commissioner to the military court Judge Saqr Saqr, took charge of Tyre explosion that has targeted the French UNIFIL contingent early today.

Judge Saqr delegated his deputy Judge Dany Zooni to inspect the scene of the explosion and file an initial report.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi receives Ruth, Roknabadi
 

Fri 2/12/2011 14:34


NNA - 2/12/2011- Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi received on Thursday at his office a delegation of Human Rights Watch Organization, headed by the executive director of said organization Kenneth Ruth. Talks reportedly featured high on improving the condition of Human Rights in the region.

Separately, Qortbawi received the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi. Both men discussed judicial agreements between Lebanon and Iran.

A.M/N.AF

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Law - Special Tribunal for Lebanon receives 2011 contribution from Lebanese state
 

Thu 1/12/2011 17:39

NNA - 1/12/2011 - "The Special Tribunal for Lebanon thanks the Government of Lebanon for the full payment for 2011, which we received this morning. With this contribution of US$32,184,635, the representatives of the Lebanese people have demonstrated their commitment to work for the rule of law and long-term stability. We look forward to the continuing co-operation of Lebanon as we work towards completing our judicial mandate."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Sakr monitors investigations in launched rockets' issue
 

Thu 1/12/2011 14:27

NNA - 1/12/2011 Judge Saqr Saqr, the government's representative at the Military Tribunal, is supervising the investigations in the rocket launching operation held by the army intelligence services and military police.

One rocket fired from southern Lebanon Tuesday morning landing into Israel overnight, and prompting Israeli troops to retaliate by firing six artillery shells.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Law - Statement by the President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge David Baragwanath
 

Mon 28/11/2011 14:31

NNA - 28/11/2011 - The STL media advisory issued Monday the following:
"The main purpose of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is to bring the killers of Lebanese citizens to justice. This week's visit to Beirut has given me great confidence that our mandate of challenging impunity will be fulfilled.

The Vice-President, Judge Riachi, our Chef de Cabinet, Guido Acquaviva and I appreciated our gracious reception by the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor-General. We also met leaders of the universities as well as diplomatic representatives and the heads of the legal profession.

I was particularly heartened by the determination of the representatives of the Lebanese people to work for the rule of law and long-term stability. The Tribunal, comprising professional judges selected internationally and including senior members of the Lebanese judiciary, is a transitional institution. We are determined to conclude our job as swiftly as fairness allows.

I am convinced that the strength of the legal and academic communities of Lebanon will allow the administration of justice in the country to attain new heights. The support we are receiving will allow the STL to contribute to securing the stability that everybody, the killers aside, so earnestly desires, which will open new opportunities for Lebanon."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 

 


Law - Lebanon to respect international commitments, says Daya
 

Thu 24/11/2011 17:39

NNA - 24/11/2011 - Head of Tripoli Bar Association, Bassam Daya, on Thursday avowed that Lebanon would respect its international commitments and eventually pay its 49% share of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), following his meeting with the tribunal's President David Baragwanath.

"All parties will prevail Lebanon's interest and unanimously settle on funding STL so as to bolster the inter-Lebanese union and cast aside political tensions," he said.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Fayez Karam's trial deferred
 

Thu 24/11/2011 16:00


NNA - 24/11/2011 - The Military Cassation Court on Thursday deferred the resumption of General Fayez Karam's trial till forthcoming December 20.

The Court, which approved a demand to repeal a former sentence of a three-year imprisonment and deprivation of civil rights, today interrogated Karam and adjourned the session in view of procedure, settlement on a release plea, and putting out his criminal record.

General Fayez Karam, Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) official and former head of the Lebanese Army's anti-terrorism and counter-espionage unit during the 1980s, was indicted for collaborating with Israel by the Military Court first Investigative Judge in December 2010.
The indictment against Karam called for a sentence of 20 years hard labor.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Law - Baragwanath visits Mirza, Qortbawi
 

Thu 24/11/2011 14:54

NNA - 24/11/2011 - President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, David Baragwanath, on Thursday visited State Prosecutor, Saeed Mirza.

He later visited Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, over affairs related to STL work.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 





 

Law - Trial Chamber awaits further info from Lebanese authorities
 

Wed 23/11/2011 18:52

NNA - 23/11/2011 - STL media advisory issued Wednesday the following: The Trial Chamber has decided today to await a response from the Lebanese authorities on their efforts to arrest the accused before deciding whether to begin proceedings in absentia.

The Trial Chamber has requested the Tribunal's Prosecutor to file a progress report by 8 December on the response of the Lebanese authorities.

The judges of the Trial Chamber are responsible for deciding whether to try the accused in their absence, given that none of the four indicted men has yet been arrested.

During a hearing held on 11 November, the Prosecution argued that the Lebanese authorities should do more to locate and arrest the accused before the Tribunal could try them in absentia. On 11 November the Prosecution sent 10 requests for assistance to the Lebanese Prosecutor General asking him to take additional steps.

The Tribunal's Defence Office asked the Trial Chamber to consider withdrawing the arrest warrants and notifying the accused of the possibility of appearing at trial by video-conference.

The Trial Chamber decided that the four accused should be formally notified of their rights to attend the trial.

When the Trial Chamber has the responses from the Lebanese authorities it will then decide whether it should invite Lebanese officials to provide additional information.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Justice - Head of International Tribunal arrives in Beirut
 

Tue 22/11/2011 23:19

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Head of the Special International Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge David Paraguanth, arrived in Beirut Tuesday evening, coming from the French Capital, Paris. The visit is the first since his appointment as the new Tribunal Head succeeding the late Antonio Cassizy.
Paraguanth is to meet during his visit with President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman, as well as other officials involved in the work of the Tribunal and the academic and legal community.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Two indicted in murdering soldier
 

Tue 22/11/2011 13:34

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Government commissioner to the Military Tribunal Judge Sakr Sakr, indicted two men accused of murdering an army soldier. The indictment comprises multiple homicides with other accomplices. The indictment is based on article 549 of the penal code number 72.

Among other things, the two men were indicted for illegal possession of fire arms and could accordingly be at pains of capital punishment. The Judge duly refereed them to the first military investigator.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - President of the STL visits Lebanon
 

Mon 21/11/2011 16:59

NNA - 21/11/2011 - STL media advisory issued Monday the following: The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge Sir David Baragwanath, will be visiting Lebanon this week for the first time. He is accompanied by the Vice-President of the Tribunal, Judge Ralph Riachy.

During the visit President Baragwanath will meet Lebanon's President and other Lebanese authorities who work with the Tribunal as well as agencies and members of the academic and legal community.

"I am honoured to visit a country of such great cultural and legal traditions", said Judge Baragwanath. "The Tribunal's judges consider themselves not just international judges, but also judges of Lebanon, applying the criminal law of Lebanon and respectful of its sovereignty and its people. I am determined that the work of the Tribunal be fair and expeditious, with full respect of the rights of the accused and the interests of the victims."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Justice Minister's activities, meetings
 

Mon 21/11/2011 16:31

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, on Monday met with German ambassador to Lebanon, Brigitta Siefker, over affairs of common interest.

He later met with a delegation of the European Union's underway program on developing the performance of security services tasked with investigating crimes and felonies.

On the other hand, Qortbawi congratulated the new Head of Bar Association, Nohad Jabr, for assuming his new post.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Justice - Nuhad Jabr elected as new Lawyers' Syndicate Head
 

Sun 20/11/2011 19:11

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Lawyers' Syndicate General Association elected Sunday its new Head, Attorney Nuhad Jabr, who is now the 48th Bar Association Dean. Jabr's victory in the Bar Syndicate elections came after strong competition with Candidate Antonio Hashem, whereby Jabr received 2073 versus 1623 to Hashem. The number of voters reached 3773.
Following the declaration of the voting outcome, Syndicate Head Amal Haddad handed over the Bar Syndicate Medal to the newly elected Dean. In a word on the occasion, Haddad considered that lawyers surpass all political limits proving that they are worthy of being leaders of their society and people of right and law.
In turn, newly elected Dean Jabr described the Lawyers' Syndicate as a national uniting forum that cares for Lebanon's sovereignty and the liberty of its citizens. He vowed to invest all capabilities to ensure the advancement of the Syndicate at both the professional and national levels.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Verdict in Imam Sadr case deferred
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:33

NNA - 18/11/2011 - The Judicial Council postponed today the verdict in the case of Imam Moussa Sadr and his comrades till forthcoming January 20, National News Agency correspondent reported on Friday.

The Council said it cannot issue the verdict before Libya's Moammar Gadhafi is proven dead by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Imam Sadr and his companions, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, went missing in 1978 in Libya, where they had been in an effort to end the Lebanese civil war.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - March 14 and 8 equitably dividing Tripoli Bar Association
 

Sun 13/11/2011 17:19

NNA - 13/11/2011- March 14 and 8 candidates equitably divided Tripoli Bar Association to which were added two new members from each camp. Two contestant lists backed by both camps equitably won with candidates running on both sides securing nearly the same number of votes.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - STL first hearing considers in absentia trial
 

Fri 11/11/2011 20:07

NNA - 11/11/2011 The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) held its first hearing session Friday in the Hague contemplating arguments from the Prosecution and the Defence Office about initiating in absentia proceedings, with the former demanding a repeal of arrest warrants against four Hezbollah members accused of killing PM Rafik Hariri and 22 others in an immense car bomb blast in Beirut 2005.

An STL statement explained that a trial in absentia takes place without the accused being present or in the custody of the tribunal, stressing that such trials have not happened in other contemporary international courts.

"The rationale is clear. Justice must not be stopped by an accused or a state which refuses to hand an accused over," the statement said. The court has the right to conduct proceedings in the absence of the accused if they have waived their right to be present at trial, if they have not been handed over to the tribunal, and if they have escaped or cannot be found. Nevertheless, the statement assured that all rules to ensure a fair trial would apply.

STL Defense Office argued that arrest warrants against the four accused must be revoked. "The issuance of arrest warrants has led to the accused being unable or unwilling to appear freely here in accordance with the provisions of the STL's Rules of Evidence and Procedure," defense lawyer Francois Roux said during the hearing, "We therefore submit that the warrants issued have turned the rights of the accused into hypothetical and useless rights."
The he asked, "Do we want to try them or arrest these individuals?"

For his part, representative of the Prosecutor's Office Iain Morley welcomed the possibility of the accused appearing in trial via video link, deeming it a "reasonable step that may be explored."
"At that point the pre-trial judge may eliminate the arrest warrants," he stated.

STL's Victims' Participation Unit (VPU) contended that the trial should not start without the involvement of the victims who were most affected by the crime.
VPU is responsible for assisting the victims participating in the proceedings related to the STL.

A representative of the unit said during the session that the trials cannot begin without the victims, "Many [victims] have given up hope on international or national justice being achieved," he added.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Cortbawi tackles delinquency, drugs addiction issues
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:28

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Cortbawi tackled Friday with representatives of concerned civil societies the issue of delinquent youth and drugs addiction, discussing means to unify Ministries and civil associations' efforts to prevent all kinds of delinquencies.

Cortbawi noted that the civil society is not performing its duties in an organized manner leading to chaos and waste of energies.

On another note, as per the agreement between Justice Minister Shakib Kortbawi and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, a joint committee was formed to set a time schedule and a plan for transferring the jail administration responsibility from the Interior to the Justice.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Media Advisory: Trial Chamber hearing on in absentia proceedings

NNA - 11/11/2011 - The Trial Chamber will hold its first session today to hear arguments from the Prosecution and the Defence Office about initiating in absentia proceedings.
 

Fri 11/11/2011 11:22

The Trial Chamber will make a decision in due course based on the following:

- The oral submissions at the hearing on 11th November
- The written submissions that were filed by the Prosecution and defence Office on 2 November
- The filings from the Pre Trial judge
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Trial Chamber meets to initiate in absentia trials
 

Fri 11/11/2011 09:19

NNA - 11/11/2011 - The Trial Chamber is holding its first session today to hear arguments from the Prosecution and the Defence Office about initiating in absentia proceedings.

The Trial Chamber will make a decision in due course based on the following:

The oral submissions at the hearing on 11th November.

The written submissions that were filed by the Prosecution and defence Office on 2 November.

The filings from the Pre Trial judge

What are trials in absentia?

A trial in absentia is a trial that takes place without the accused being present or in the custody of the tribunal. This has not happened in other contemporary international courts. The rationale is clear. Justice must not be stopped by an accused or a state which refuses to hand an accused over.

The STL can conduct proceedings in the absence of the accused in these circumstances:

If they have waived their right to be present at trial.

If they have not been handed over to the tribunal by the State authorities concerned within a reasonable time.

If they escaped or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to secure their appearance before the tribunal and to inform them of the charges.

What steps have to be taken before trials in absentia?

The Pre-Trial Judge asked the Trial Chamber on 17 October 2011 to determine whether proceedings in absentia should be initiated in the case of Ayyash et al.

The Trial Chamber will now determine whether there is an intention on the part of the accused to avoid trial.
The Trial Chamber will also assess if the accused have been served with the indictment or if they have been given notice of the charges against them through publication in the media or by the communication of the charges to the State where they are residents/nationals.

If these requirements have been met and after considering the arguments of the Prosecutor and the Defence Office, the Trial Chamber will decide whether or not to initiate in absentia proceedings.

How are the rights of the accused safeguarded in proceedings in absentia?

If the accused are being tried in absentia, all of the rules to ensure a fair trial will still apply. An accused has the right to designate a defence counsel of their own choosing. The legal fees will be paid for by the accused or by the STL if the accused is found to have insufficient funds.

The accused have the right to request a new trial at any stage during an in absentia trial.

If the accused appear after an in absentia conviction, once the trial is completely finalised the accused can:

Accept the conviction or sentence,
Request a retrial,
Accept the conviction but request a new hearing in respect of the sentence.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Start of STL Trial Chamber hearing moved by half an hour tomorrow
 

Thu 10/11/2011 20:46

NNA - 10/11/2011 In a press release by Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Media Advisory, it said "The start of the STL Trial Chamber hearing, on the Ayyash et al case, has been moved by half an hour to 09:30CET on November 11th."
"All accredited journalists are asked to come to the court from 08:30 onwards. A webcast of the proceedings will be available on the STL website with a half hour delay from 10:00CET", release added.
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NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - General Security refers Syrians to Qobba jail
 

Thu 10/11/2011 15:05

NNA - 10/11/2011 - The military investigation judge today referred Ammar Al-Adib and Mohammad Balshah, Syrians, to Qobba jail, after found guilty as charged with arms trafficking and smuggling from Lebanon into Syria, a communique by the General Security-Media Directorate said on Thursday.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Law - Intensive working session for counsel assigned at STL
 

Fri 4/11/2011 11:37

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Counsel assigned as duty counsel by the Head of Defense Office met over three days at the headquarters of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for intensive working sessions.

They were able to familiarize themselves with the various administrative aspects of the Tribunal and to discuss, together with the Defense Office, the different legal questions certain to be asked of the Tribunal in the form, in particular, of preliminary motions. With this in mind, the Defense Office invited Professor Salim Jreissati, who shared his expertise with the defense teams and provided them with some legal considerations relating to issues regarding the legality of the Tribunal and in absentia proceedings.

The Defense Office recalls that the defense teams will have complete freedom, with the assistance of any independent expert, if they so wish, to raise any legal matters before the Tribunal that they consider necessary for the defense of the accused.

At this stage, following the decision of the Chamber, the duty counsel will not represent individually the rights of each of the accused at the hearing on 11 November. However, they shall remain responsible for defending those rights, in coordination with the Defense office.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Three arrest warrants against Syrians for weapons smuggling
 

Thu 3/11/2011 11:36

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Military investigation judge Fadi Sawan issued arrest warrants in absentia on three Syrian opposition figures for involvement in weapons smuggling to Syria.

Two of the Syrians charged with smuggling currently reside in Saudi Arabia and are not allowed to enter Syria.

The judge said the accused have been collecting donations from Syrians working in Saudi Arabia and were buying weapons from the owner of a farm in Erssal town and then ship them to Syria.

The smuggled arms consisted of anti tank rocket launchers with their ammunition as well as machine guns.

The smugglers carried out these smuggling operations more than once.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


law - STL Media Advisory: Victims apply to participate in case before STL
 

Tue 1/11/2011 13:57

NNA - 1/11/2011 - More than 60 people have applied to participate as victims before the STL in the case of Ayyash et al. A deadline for their applications had been set by the Pre-Trial Judge on 8 September and expired yesterday.

The applicants are members of various Lebanese communities and include persons who suffered different kinds of harm as a result of the 14 February 2005 attack.

These and other victims have been met by the STL's Victims' Participation Unit, which has a mandate to inform victims about their rights before the Tribunal, and to help them apply for participation if they wish to do so.

The victims' applications will now be translated and then provided to the Pre-Trial Judge, who will decide on each individual application for participation and issue a decision in due course. This process might be expected to take up to several months.

According to the Pre-Trial Judge's order, victims who did not apply by the deadline might still be permitted to participate if they can show valid reasons in order to justify the late submission of their application. Any victims interested in more information should contact the Victims' Participation Unit on + 961 (4) 538 150 or by e-mail at stl-victims@un.org
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - STL: Victims' Participation Unit calls for final applications ahead of Monday deadline
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:41

NNA - 28/10/2011 In a press release by Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), it said "The STL Victims' Participation Unit reminds victims of the 14 February 2005 attack that if they wish to participate in proceedings before the Tribunal in the Ayyash et al case, they must submit an application by Monday 31 October 2011. This deadline was set by the Pre-Trial Judge in an order of 8 September 2011."
Release added "According to the STL's rules, victims may participate in a trial, usually through a lawyer, by making submissions, submitting evidence, and questioning witnesses, subject to the approval of the judges. Victims who are unable to afford legal representation will be provided with a lawyer through the STL's legal aid policy."
"Victims wishing to apply for participation at the STL should contact the Victims' Participation Unit, which has a mandate to inform victims about their rights before the Tribunal, and to help them apply for participation. The Victims' Participation Unit can be reached at + 961 (4) 538 150 or by e-mail at stl-victims@un.org," release concluded.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Fayez Karam's case: cassation court agrees on repealing verdict
 

Fri 28/10/2011 15:58

NNA - 28/10/2011 - The Military Court of Cassation, presided by Judge Alice Shebtini, responded Friday to the appeal of the defendant of General Fayez Karam claiming to repeal the verdict pronounced against him by the permanent Military Court.

Karam had been sentenced to hard labor and three years imprisonment and deprived from his civil rights.

The Cassation has fixed November 24 for the resumption of the trial.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 


Law - State Council rejects project decree on wages adjustment
 

Thu 27/10/2011 16:25

NNA - 27/10/2011 - The State Council rejected on Thursday the project decree on minimum wage and the high cost of living.

The Council's administrative chamber, headed by Judge Shukri Sader, issued today a decision as per which the official minimum wage must be revised duly and according to effective laws on a yearly basis, in compliance with the Arab Agreement number 15/1983 on defining and protecting minimum wage.

Today's decision mainly objected to the decree's failure to include workers and employees earning more than 1.8 million LBP per month, while all categories of employees are saddled with the high cost of living.

The Council deemed the cabinet's proposed form to allocate adjustments was not compliant with the assignment given by lawmakers as per article 6 of the 1967 law.

It also said the executive power intervention to determine or amend the daily transportation fee and school allowances surpassed the scope of powers stated by the aforementioned law.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi inspects Justice Palace in Beirut
 

Thu 27/10/2011 11:15

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Justice Minister Shakeeb Qortbawi inspected on Thursday the Justice Palace in Beirut to check on the needs of the staff.

The minister, who was accompanied by senior officials from the Justice Ministry, examined all the courts and departments of the Justice Palace and listened to complains of the staff.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - STL Trial Chamber calls for submissions on in absentia proceedings
 

Thu 20/10/2011 16:06

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Special Tribunal for Lebanon Media Advisory - Trial Chamber on Thursday issued the following:
"The Special Tribunal for Lebanon's Trial Chamber has issued a scheduling order, which requests written submissions relating to in absentia proceedings from the Office of the Prosecutor and each of the accused. Since the accused have not yet appointed counsel the Trial Chamber has also asked the STL's Defence Office to file submissions. The deadline for all written submissions is 2 November 2011 . A public hearing will be held by the Trial Chamber at 10:00 on 11 November 2011. Journalists will be sent details of the accreditation process for that hearing in the coming days.
The scheduling order follows a request by the Pre Trial Judge for the Trial Chamber to make a determination whether in absentia proceedings should be initiated."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Mirza hands STL report on Hariri assassination case
 

Wed 19/10/2011 18:44

NNA - 19/10/2011 State Prosecutor General Saiid Mirza handed on Wednesday a delegation of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) the monthly report regarding the search for the four accused persons in the assassination of martyr Rafic Hariri.
STL is a UN court probing the assassination of Statesman Rafic Hariri and other related crimes.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Judicial affairs top Qortbawi, prosecutors' talks
 

Tue 18/10/2011 13:31

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi held on Tuesday a closed meeting in which he gathered all Lebanese prosecutors at the "Prosecution Court of the Justice Palace".

Judicial affairs and other issues of importance to Lebanese citizens topped Qortbawi's talks with attending prosecutors.

The meeting comes within the frame of Qortbawi's attempts at invigorating the Lebanese judicial system.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - STL: Fransen requests Trial Chamber to decide on proceedings in absentia
 

Mon 17/10/2011 17:59

NNA - 17/10/2011 In a press release by Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Press office, it said "The Pre-Trial Judge has asked the Trial Chamber to determine whether proceedings in absentia should be initiated in the case of Ayyash et al.."
Release said "The Tribunal's rules state that if the accused have not been arrested within 30 calendar days of the public advertisement of an indictment, then the Pre-Trial Judge can request that the Trial Chamber initiate proceedings in absentia."
"According to the Pre-Trial Judge's ruling, this period of public advertisement started at the latest on 15 September 2011 when a wanted poster displaying the pictures of the accused, their personal details and the counts against them were published in major Lebanese newspapers.", release added.
"The Trial Chamber will now have to determine whether the required conditions have been met in order to start the proceedings in absentia whilst preserving the rights of the accused", release oncluded.
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NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Verdict in Sadr's trial set for November
 

Fri 14/10/2011 21:35

NNA - 14/10/2011 - The Judicial Council concluded Friday the trial for the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr and his two companions, Sheikh Mohammed Yacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, and the verdict is scheduled for November 18.

In August 1978, Sadr and his two companions travelled to Libya to meet with government officials. The three were never heard from again. The main suspect was Muammar Gaddafi.

Today's hearing was chaired by Judge Sami Mansour, with the participation of Councilors Elias Abu Nassif, Antoine Issa Khoury, Ghassan Rabah and Saad Barakat, in the presence of Attorney General Said Mirza and lawyers of the descendants of Imam Sadr.

The defendants, most notorious of whom was Gaddafi, were trialed in absentia.


R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Hard labor sentence for Lebanese, Palestinians for planning to target army, UNIFIL
 

Tue 11/10/2011 16:42

NNA - 11/10/2011 - The military court on Tuesday sentenced a group of Lebanese and Palestinians to ten years of hard labor for planning to target civil and military institutions and the UNIFIL, using explosives and weapons.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - 10th of October a Day for Attorney
 

Mon 10/10/2011 19:22
NNA - 10/10/2011 - The Syndicate of Attorneys specified the 10th of October a Day for the Attorney, in a way to present our salutations to the attorney.

Accordingly, an event was organized in this concern at the Attorney's House in Tehwitta/Beirut. The event was attended by Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi, Prosecutor General Said Mirza, Information Minister Walid Daouk and others.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Layyoun sues Moustaqbal newspaper in court
 

Sat 8/10/2011 13:18
NNA - 08/10/2011 - Minister of Culture, Gaby Layyoun, sued the Moustaqbal news editor in chief and another staff member for libel before the Court of Law. The Minister's claim came against a cultural story which featured on Wednesday 05/10/2011.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Law - Mirza to investigate Casino breaches
 

Fri 7/10/2011 13:20
NNA - 7/10/2011 Lebanese State Prosecutor Judge Said Mirza received Friday a letter from Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi that the Lebanese President has sent which includes a request to holding investigations on the Casino du Liban committed breaches the newspapers have published.

Several reports about corruption have been voiced lately about the Casino du Liban accusing the board of directors of numerous infractions, mainly financial.

Judge Mirza assigned the forensics department to debut investigations under his supervision.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 

Law - Military judge files lawsuits against collaborators with Israel
 

Tue 4/10/2011 13:59

NNA - 4/10/2011 - The military investigation Judge Imad Al-Zein issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday against a Lebanese individual for collaborating with Israel, and filed another arrest warrant in absentia against a different person yet for the same reason.

Separately, Zein started interrogating eight arrested for their involvement in the death of the Army officer Muhammad Ayoub, issuing thus far arrest warrants against four of them.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Three arrested for arms trafficking between Syria and Lebanon
 

Mon 3/10/2011 14:50

NNA - 03/10/2011 - The military investigation judge, Fadi Sawan, issued an indictment on Monday against one Lebanese and two Syrians for arms trafficking between Syria and Lebanon.

The three men were arrested in Beirut and referred to the military court for trial, as per article 72 of the penal code.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Kortbawi for rebuilding people's trust in judicial system
 

Thu 29/09/2011 18:24

NNA - 29/9/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Kortbawi confirmed on Thursday that he is exerting huge efforts to rebuild the people's trust in the Lebanese judicial system.

Kortbawi's words came during his visit to Beirut attorneys' syndicate and his meeting with the syndicate's head Amal Haddad.

"We seek change. We seek the independence of the judiciary," the Minister declared, highlighting the major role of lawyers in Lebanon.
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Palestinian arrested for collaborating with foreign country
 

Tue 27/09/2011 13:29

NNA - 27/09/2011 - Military Court Investigative Judge Imad Zein, interrogated on Tuesday Palestinian citizen Abdul Menhem Hussein, who has been arrested on charges of collaborating with a "foreign country" in a way which harms the nation's interests, as per law item 274.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi tackles speeding up detainees' trials
 

Fri 23/09/2011 15:16

NNA - 23/9/2011 Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi chaired on Friday a broad judicial meeting at the Palace of Justice in Beirut for General Prosecutors and Public Attorneys as well as Investigating Judges in presence of State Prosecutor Said Mirza.

The one-hour meeting aimed at tackling general prosecutions and investigating judges' works as well as speeding up arrested persons' trials.

Qortbawi had met earlier with Malaysian and Ukrainian Ambassadors to Lebanon and engaged with them in talks on bilateral ties.

Lastly the Minister received a delegation representing Women Bodies in Lebanon.
Discussions tackled women quota as well as women's role in public administrations.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi: Prisons issue should be treated
 

Fri 23/09/2011 10:16

NNA - 23/9/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi urged "the necessity to treat prisons issue".

The minister pointed out on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon" that "there are lots of things we should do, first we should reduce the members that accompany the politicians to increase their presence in prisons".

Qortbawi called for a speedy construction of Roumyeh prison and quick trial of "Fath Islam" members.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Qortbawi: Prisons issue should be treated
 

Fri 23/09/2011 10:16

NNA - 23/9/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi urged "the necessity to treat prisons issue".

The minister pointed out on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon" that "there are lots of things we should do, first we should reduce the members that accompany the politicians to increase their presence in prisons".

Qortbawi called for a speedy construction of Roumyeh prison and quick trial of "Fath Islam" members.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Law - Assi: I have trust in judicial authority

 

Thu 22/09/2011 16:10

NNA - 22/09/2011 - After the explosion that recently targeted a bakery possessed by Rachid Salim Assi in Hawsh Zaraenah region of Zaheh, Assi held a press conference on Thursday saying he has trust in the judicial authority's transparency in unveiling the truth beyond the explosion as well as the murder of his father that happened three years ago.

Assi disclosed that he had received many menaces before Hawsh Zaraenah's blast.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved