Lebanon News

STL mandate extended a further three years

BEIRUT: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has been extended for another three years from Mar. 1. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ approval of the extension was confirmed to The Daily Star by STL spokesperson Wajed Ramadan. “The Tribunal remains committed to fulfill its mandate to prosecute the perpetrators of the attacks falling under its jurisdiction and bring justice to the victims,” Ramadan said.

The mandate for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was approved in 2009 to investigate the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Downtown Beirut in 2005, which also killed 21 others.

The approval of the mandate came on the heels of the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission inquiry set up to gather evidence concerning the conspiracy.

The court trial officially began in Liedschendman, Netherlands, on Jan. 16, 2014, indicting Salim Ayyash, Hassan Merhi, Hussein Oneissi and Assad Sabra in the following years. While Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine was indicted in 2011, the charges were formally dropped in May 2016 shortly after the confirmation of Badreddine’s death in Syria.

The STL also has jurisdiction over several lesser-known cases including the assassination of George Hawi and attempted assassinations of Elias Murr and Marwan Hamadeh in 2005, 2005 and 2004 respectively. No indictments have been made.

This September, an additional indictment was submitted but which case the indictment referred to has yet to be disclosed. “This indictment is under seal. Its contents are confidential and ex parte, meaning that only the prosecutor and pretrial judge have access to it,” Ramadan told The Daily Star in September. No further updates on the indictment have been given.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 23, 2017, on page 2.

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