This blog of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) aims at granting the public opinion access to all information related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon : daily press review in english, french and arabic ; UN documents, etc...

Ce blog du
Centre Libanais des droits humains (CLDH) a pour objectif de rendre accessible à l'opinion publique toute l'information relative au Tribunal Spécial pour le Liban : revue de presse quotidienne en anglais, francais et arabe ; documents onusiens ; rapports, etc...


July 14, 2010 - Now Lebanon - Sayyed seeks access to secret files relating to arrest

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands: A former Lebanese Army general asked an international court on Tuesday to release his secret case file on the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to learn why he had been jailed for nearly four years without charge.

The hearing by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is the first since Major General Jamil Sayyed, the former chief of general security, and three other army officers, were freed from a Lebanese jail for lack of evidence in April 2009.

Despite being limited to procedural issues, the hearing revived attention to a case that has been languishing. No other suspects are in custody and prosecutors won’t say how their investigation is progressing.

The four officers were detained for six months after Hariri and 22 others died in a massive truck bomb explosion in Beirut, and suspicion fell on Syria and its Lebanese allies.

Since the release of the four suspects, investigators have interviewed members of Hizbullah, possibly exploring links to broader Middle East rivalries.

Syria and Hizbullah have both denied any involvement in the bombing.

Addressing the pre-trial judge in Arabic, Sayyed said his detention was based on false statements and he wants to seek a “legal remedy” against those responsible, which he said can only be done if he has access to the prosecution’s case file.

He said he had applied more than 100 times to the tribunal and to the Lebanese authorities for access to his file, but was never allowed to see any of it.

“We fall into a legal vacuum, a procedural vacuum,” he told Judge Daniel Fransen.

Sayyed, speaking after his attorney laid out legal arguments that the court has jurisdiction to order the case file released, said his detention was based on statements from at least 10 witnesses, some of them Syrian nationals.

Perjury from one person could be a mistake, he said. But “this was truly a large-scale plot” and he said it was important to uncover the reasons behind it.

Prosecutors objected, saying the tribunal has no authority to deal with Sayyed’s demand since its mandate is limited to prosecuting those responsible for the February 14, 2005, bombing and “to bring terrorists to justice.” “International courts have narrow jurisdiction for a reason,” said prosecutor Daryl Mundis.

In addition, he said Sayyed has no right to turn to the tribunal since he is no longer a party to the case.

In its earlier written submission, the prosecution said: “The investigation is still ongoing. The prosecutor has not filed an indictment. Without an indictment, there is no accused.” Fransen said he would make his decision in early September.

The tribunal, set up by the UN Security Council in 2007, consists of seven foreign and four Lebanese judges, and is grounded in Lebanese law. – AP

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Background - خلفية

On 13 December 2005 the Government of the Lebanese Republic requested the UN to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 february 2005 that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others. The United Nations and the Lebanese Republic consequently negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Liens - Links - مواقع ذات صلة

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, David Schenker , March 30, 2010 . Beirut Spring: The Hariri Tribunal Goes Hunting for Hizballah

Frederic Megret, McGill University, 2008. A special tribunal for Lebanon: the UN Security Council and the emancipation of International Criminal Justice

International Center for Transitional Justice Handbook on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, April 10, 2008

United Nations
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 19 Sept 2007
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 27 Mars 2008

Département d'Etat américain
* 2009 Human Rights report
* 2008 Human Rights report
* 2007 Human Rights report
* 2006 Human Rights report
* 2005 Human Rights report

ICG - International Crisis Group
The Hariri Tribunal: Separate the Political and the Judicial, 19 July, 2007. [Fr]

HCSS - Hague Centre for strategic studies
Hariri, Homicide and the Hague

Human Rights Watch
* Hariri Tribunal can restore faith in law, 11 may 2006
* Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, april 27, 2006

Amnesty International
* STL insufficient without wider action to combat impunity
* Liban : le Tribunal de tous les dangers, mai 2007
* Jeu de mecano

Courrier de l'ACAT - Wadih Al Asmar
Le Tribunal spécial pour le Liban : entre espoir et inquiétude

Georges Corm
La justice penale internationale pour le Liban : bienfait ou malediction?

Nadim Shedadi and Elizabeth Wilmshurt, Chatham House
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon : the UN on Trial?, July 2007

Issam Michael Saliba, Law Library of Congress
International Tribunals, National Crimes and the Hariri Assassination : a novel development in International Criminal Law, June 2007

Mona Yacoubian, Council on Foreign Relations
Linkages between Special UN Tribunal, Lebanon, and Syria, June 1, 2007