2.27.2008

'Management Committee' of Special Tribunal for Lebanon Is Set Up

Ban Ki-moon sets up 'management committee' of Lebanon Tribunal

UN News

14 February 2008 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has established a Management Committee of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon being set up to try those responsible for political killings, particularly the February 2005 car bombing in Beirut that killed the former prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.

“The Secretary-General believes that this step, along with other steps announced in December of last year – the selection of the judges, the appointment of the Prosecutor, the finalization of a headquarters agreement with the Government of the Netherlands enabling the Tribunal to be based in that country, and agreement on a building near The Hague to house the Tribunal – are decisive landmarks in the process of making the Special Tribunal a reality,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

The Committee, which will among other tasks provide advice and policy direction on all non-judicial aspects of the operations of the Special Tribunal and review and approve its annual budget, is composed of the body's main donors, according to the statement.

The spokesperson also announced that expected contributions to the Special Tribunal will meet the budgetary requirements for its establishment and the first twelve months of operations.

“This will assist greatly in the effort by the Secretariat to establish the Special Tribunal in a timely manner as requested by the Security Council in resolution 1757 (2007),” the spokesperson said.

“This development, as well as the others previously set out, confirms the Secretary-General's belief in the irreversibility of the establishment of the Tribunal.”

In April 2005 the Security Council set up the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon's own inquiry into the Hariri assassination was seriously flawed and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack. Mr. Hariri died in a massive car bombing in Beirut in February 2005 that also took the lives of 22 others.


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Nicolas Michel Hints at Legal Action Against Hariri Suspects

Naharnet
06 Feb 08

U.N. legal chief Nicolas Michel warned those who believed that a new Lebanese government would prevent the creation of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and hinted that the Canadian prosecutor was moving toward taking legal action.
"Formation of the court is definite," Michel said in an interview published Wednesday by the Pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

"Justice should be part of everlasting peace in the country (Lebanon)," the U.N. under-secretary-general for legal affairs said.

Michel stressed that those who thought they "got rid" of the tribunal that would try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes through the framework of political deals "are committing a mistake."

"Those who believe that a new Lebanon government would lead to killing the tribunal are also undoubtedly committing a mistake," Michel warned.

Addressing those who are carrying out political assassinations in Lebanon, Michel warned: "It's time they understand that this (act) would only bring them before justice … this court is going to try all those who committed these operations."

Turning to Lebanese political leaders, Michel urged them not to lose hope in the tribunal and the U.N.'s capability to end what he called "the era of impunity."

"The court will soon be a reality," Michel assured them. He also urged them to "have faith in the progress we have achieved over the past few months."

He assured countries which refuse to hand over suspects to the international tribunal that the court will "anyway sentence them in absentia."

Michel said that Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, who was appointed head of the international commission of inquiry for Lebanon, replacing Serge Brammertz, was "concerned about laying the groundwork for moving soon from the probe into taking legal action."


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Related materials:

- Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Gets Base, Judges

- The International Tribunal for Lebanon (Resolution 1757)

- UN Report on the Establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

- Ninth report of Hariri International Investigation Commission

- Memo for International Tribunal for Lebanon

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Comes Into Force


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