STL Defense Emerges Confused and Divided from First Two Days of Trial

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The Hague - Naharnet Exclusive

Defense counsel for the accused in the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri emerged confused and divided from the first two days of the trial at the headquarters of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.

Three days before the Defense's intervention that is scheduled for Monday, in which it is expected to respond to the Prosecution's presentation, a number of Defense lawyers invited reporters in The Hague to a press conference that was held after Friday's session.

The surprise was that Mustafa Badreddine's lawyer Antoine Korkmaz admitted the presence of conflicting viewpoints among the Defense teams regarding the strategy that must be followed to respond to the Prosecution's claims.

While Korkmaz as well as Salim Ayyash's lawyer Emile Aoun and Hussein Oneissi's lawyers Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse and Yasser Hassan decided to hold the press conference, they acknowledged that the Defense counsel for the other two accused – Assad Sabra and Hassan Merhi – did not share their point of view on holding the conference and that they prefer to say what they have during Monday's session and inside the courtroom.

Observers also noticed that STL Defense Council head Francois Roux did not attend the press conference.

Korkmaz started the news conference by saying that he was ready, together with his colleagues, to answer the reporters' questions -- although the Defense lawyers were the ones who invited the journalists to the conference via an email distributed by the court's press office and therefore they should have had something to say.

The main points that were addressed by the Defense counsel can be summarized as follows:

1. They tacitly acknowledged the difficulty of refuting the Prosecution's allegations regarding the monitoring of Hariri's movements, with Korkmaz saying: “Let's suppose that the surveillance did happen, is surveillance equivalent to assassination?”

2. Korkmaz raised the issue of Prosecutor Norman Farrell's remarks to Le Monde in which he announced that investigations are still ongoing. Badreddine's lawyer voiced regret that the Prosecutor is launching accusations before the end of the investigation, although the STL's Rules of Procedure and Evidence are based on the Anglo-Saxon legal mechanism, which allows the Prosecutor during all the stages of the trial to submit a new indictment or amend any previous indictments he might have presented. That would happen according to the progress of investigations, which do not stop with the issuance of the first indictment.

This approach is usually endorsed with the aim of speeding up the trials, given that it would be inappropriate to postpone the trial of a certain suspect whose accusation's elements are complete pending the conclusion of investigations into the cases of other suspects.

3. Korkmaz pointed out that the Prosecution offered “nothing new” in its presentation that was based on the telecom data evidence, demanding records of the phone conversations' content that prove the criminal nature of these phone calls.

For his part, lawyer Yasser Hassan noted that the telecom data evidence is a circumstantial, non-material evidence that is being used for the first time ever in the Arab world, disregarding the fact that several judicial verdicts that have been issued in Lebanon were based on this very type of evidence, and that the STL endorses the laws followed in Lebanese courts.

4. Korkmaz wondered how would Hizbullah benefit from assassinating Hariri, noting that the former premier was inclined to engage in an electoral alliance with the party in the 2005 parliamentary vote.

But March 14 politicians who accompanied former premier Saad Hariri to The Hague commented on this point, saying “Hizbullah's interest in murdering ex-PM Rafik Hariri was proved by the developments that followed the crime, when the party sought to strike and weaken al-Mustaqbal Movement and paralyze Fouad Saniora's government, as well as to prevent the election of a president from the March 14 forces and prevent the March 14 camp from governing the country although it won the 2005 and 2009 elections.”

They also mentioned “the toppling of Saad Hariri's government and forcing him to stay outside Lebanon.”

“If this is the Defense's approach and strategy in defending the accused in the assassination of ex-PM Hariri … the Prosecution will not have to make a major effort to convince the judges of its case,” the March 14 politicians added.

SourceNaharnet
Comments 37
Missing minlibnan over 5 years

Hassouna will hand them over or they will think of suicide (3 bullets) as an alternative !

Missing minlibnan over 5 years

Sagh, relevance to the subject would be of the great importance. Stick to the topic at hand.

Missing ghzayel over 5 years

?????????????

Thumb popeye over 5 years

"Salim Ayyash's lawyer Emile Aoun ".... how befitting..... Emile Aoun defending a HA murderer!

Thumb geha over 5 years

if the defense was not tat confused, why would they hold this press conference instead of waiting for their turn in court?

they are trying to fight the trial in the public instead of in court! they know they have a lost case.

Missing ghzayel over 5 years

it runs in the family

Thumb chrisrushlau over 5 years

"...as well as to prevent the election of a president from the March 14 forces and prevent the March 14 camp from governing the country although it won the 2005 and 2009 elections.”
M14 got 45% of the votes in 2009, M8 got 55%. This is winning?
I concede that "Lebanese law" awarded 55% of the seats in Parliament to M14 on the basis of these results. Did HA know in advance the election would be stolen? That's its motive?

Thumb primesuspect over 5 years

Of course there's nothing 2 defend. How can anybody justify murders for a coup?

Thumb popeye over 5 years

"They tacitly acknowledged the difficulty of refuting the Prosecution's allegations regarding the monitoring of Hariri's movements, with Korkmaz saying: “Let's suppose that the surveillance did happen, is surveillance equivalent to assassination?”

OMG.... why would you do surveillance if not for the purpose of murder. After all, Hariri was assassinated!!!!!!

Missing ghzayel over 5 years

@popeye damn right!!! good point!!!

Thumb popeye over 5 years

For his part, lawyer Yasser Hassan noted that the telecom data evidence is a circumstantial, non-material evidence that is being used for the first time ever in the Arab world, disregarding the fact that several judicial verdicts that have been issued in Lebanon were based on this very type of evidence, and that the STL endorses the laws followed in Lebanese courts.

Exactly, "he fact that several judicial verdicts that have been issued in Lebanon were based on this very type of evidence, and that the STL endorses the laws followed in Lebanese courts."

Default-user-icon Mazen (Guest) over 5 years

Innocent until proven guilty! Fa fiko ya game3a ..

Missing mohammad_ca over 5 years

Circumstantial evidence can be rebutted if the timeline is short but when the timeline becomes months and months then it hardly is "circumstantial" anymore...

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

U are probably right sagh, saudi takfiri zionist canibals.... They should take exemple on the great secular democratic modern gards of the islamic iranian revolution....
Bravo... Bravo...

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

The fact can u explain how it was a minority gov? And please did 7ayyar, black shirts from beirut to mont lebanon played a role in this gov collapse? Man please get real, just for the sake for those who got assassinated....
Just a little descency....
Anyway thank u for ur input..

Thumb smarty over 5 years

playing the time card thefact.

here's a fact for you, you are playing the same card Israel is with Palestinians. As time passes, you confirm your ties. you lifted our last doubts.

Default-user-icon Canadian (Guest) over 5 years

Take off ure Canadian flag right now, we don't have this kind of scrap here in Canada. Long life to the soul of all martyrs who died for this country, espically Mr Rafic Hariri, and criminals must pay the price of justice for their killing!!!! God bless u Saad for ure forgiveness of the ennemy and giving ure hand to form a cabinet. All that is for the best of the Lebanese state. You are a great man. Divine justice is strong and inevitable, so criminals will face their own destiny, a bad end , and God is great!!!
From Canada.

Default-user-icon Ron from California (Guest) over 5 years

I was amazed that I didn't find anyone blaming israel or the zionists until half way through the comments section. Usually it's right at the top.

You all are starting to scare me....are you actually starting to think for yourselves?

Thumb geha over 5 years

same like hizbushaitan 7fazo khatt el raj3a by bombing and killing and assassinating people?

Missing people-power over 5 years

Fifi, a couple days ago, you admitted yourself that you believe Hezbollah killed Hariri. Have you forgotten already?

Missing people-power over 5 years

Fifi..... you are a liar. Again I caught you in the act of lying. The proof is there for everyone to see. I will even post the link.

Here is your direct quote:

"i'm willing to say that hezbollah killed hariri. how will the lebanese deal with it?"

You did not say "for the sake of debate". Go look it up yourself, Liar.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/114238-stl-trial-of-4-hizbullah-members-kicks-off

Missing people-power over 5 years

Here is your complete statement, in case you want to lie again and claim that I took your words out of context.....

Quote from _-Flamethrower-_ 1/17/2014:

"i'm willing to say that hezbollah killed hariri. how will the lebanese deal with it? the same way they dealt with geagea killing rashid karami or the frangieh church massacre. they will come to the point where they need to understand that the page must be turned and that there is no way to govern in any cabinet or any parliament without hezbollah by your side. only when hezb itself decides its resistance and military are no longer needed, will it disband by its own accord and without anyone forcing it."

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/114238-stl-trial-of-4-hizbullah-members-kicks-off

Missing people-power over 5 years

Oh Fifi, so sad.... you've been caught in a lie, and the proof is there for the whole world to see.

The problem with you being a psychopath is that you lie so much, you don't even realize you are lying. It must be hard to keep track of all your lies?

Missing people-power over 5 years

Allow me to summarize your previously quoted comments:

1. Yes, Hezbollah killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
2. Let's just pretend it didn't happen
3. Let's also pretend that Hezbollah didn't kill Gemayel, Tueni, Kassir, Hawi, Eid, Ghanem, Eido, al Hassan, and Chatah
4. Let's pretend some more that they didn't try to kill Murr, Hamadeh, Chidiac, Shehadeh, and Harb
5. After all this pretending, let's let the killers be part of the cabinet with the people they tried to kill
6. Let's allow Hezbollah to decide if and when they want to stop killing their political opponents
7. Let's allow Hezbollah decide if and when they want to disarm

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

Gazi kenaan did comited suicide man... Hariri kassir hawi..chateh (all anti syrian politicians) were killed by zionist/ksa/imperialist/takfiri (yes this is more logic than buy syrian regime or lebanese proxies...)
Hezbollah is a great secular democratic progresist resistance that represent all lebanese people, it is true that he is faught and killed thousands Amal soldiers during civil war, assassinated comunists leader, took control of south lebanon, 7 ayyar, black shirts, covering suspects from STL, engaged openely in war in syria... But all this was for our sake man, din't u understand???
So choukrqn hezbollah...

Thumb ice-man over 5 years

Why all this hostility @villager? Why? BTW, do you have a high school in your what so-called village?

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

I am sorry for my incompetance, i will try harder next time but please can u help by noting what i said wrong so i can learn from u great knowledge and wisdom?...
Please...

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

Well since u r so knoledgeable, i'm born christian and if fact a secular person, had civil mariage in cyprus bc unfortunately my country is too civilized and modern to allow me to get civil mariage on my own soil(at least when i got married)... So for religious u can do better..
Again please do put me on the right tract, i'm so eagger to be as knowlageble as u...

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

Dear joseph after iranian revolution (i refer to that bc it is the ideal of hezbollah or at least as nassrallah said) islamist exucuted thousands of marxist who helped making the revolution (repport says 120 000 but who really knows) jailed others and implemented charia...
In lebanon hezbollah took over Amal in south lebanon killing over 3000 amal militia men in aklim al toufah despite what nassrallah said(numbers are debatable but facts are there) assassinated leftist patriotic resistance leaders and took over south lebanon.. They opposed sending army in south after 2000 saying that we were israely if we do that..

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

They have weappons (yes mist lebanese have) but they have an army, communication network, engage in wars, claim divine victories and donnot hesitate to use their weapons (7 may 2008) or intimidation (black shirts) to get what they want..
So what do u expect? And i'm saying hezbollah not shia cause there is still patriotic shia (thanks god) as there is partriotic lebanese from all religions sects and political affiliations?..
Please comment..

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

One more comment, human rights, women right are not that great in iran u know, freedom of cult is tolerated but regulated, no access to internet (at least so controlled that even rouhani using twitter made a debate...
Man please donnot be so expeditive, not supporting ksa or any gulf monarchies, everyone should live free (and yes i support bahrani demicratic aspiration,as i do support syrian democratic aspiration)
But i might be wrong, please do comment...

Missing imagine_1979 over 5 years

Agreed...
Plus one for u bro

Thumb ice-man over 5 years

Flamethrower: I have asked you repeatedly not to copy my patented comments and expressions. Please, refrain from unnecessary foul language, and don't force me to stop voting you up.

Missing people-power over 5 years

Fifi..... you are a liar. Again I caught you in the act of lying. The proof is there for everyone to see. I will even post the link.

Here is your direct quote:

"i'm willing to say that hezbollah killed hariri. how will the lebanese deal with it?"

You did not say "for the sake of debate". Go look it up yourself, Liar.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/114238-stl-trial-of-4-hizbullah-members-kicks-off

Missing people-power over 5 years

Here is your complete statement, in case you want to lie again and claim that I took your words out of context.....

Quote from _-Flamethrower-_ 1/17/2014:

"i'm willing to say that hezbollah killed hariri. how will the lebanese deal with it? the same way they dealt with geagea killing rashid karami or the frangieh church massacre. they will come to the point where they need to understand that the page must be turned and that there is no way to govern in any cabinet or any parliament without hezbollah by your side. only when hezb itself decides its resistance and military are no longer needed, will it disband by its own accord and without anyone forcing it."

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/114238-stl-trial-of-4-hizbullah-members-kicks-off

Missing people-power over 5 years

Oh Fifi, so sad.... you've been caught in a lie, and the proof is there for the whole world to see.

The problem with you being a psychopath is that you lie so much, you don't even realize you are lying. It must be hard to keep track of all your lies?

Missing people-power over 5 years

Allow me to summarize your previously quoted comments:

1. Yes, Hezbollah killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
2. Let's just pretend it didn't happen
3. Let's also pretend that Hezbollah didn't kill Gemayel, Tueni, Kassir, Hawi, Eid, Ghanem, Eido, al Hassan, and Chatah
4. Let's pretend some more that they didn't try to kill Murr, Hamadeh, Chidiac, Shehadeh, and Harb
5. After all this pretending, let's allow the killers be part of the cabinet with the people they tried to kill
6. Let's allow Hezbollah to decide if and when they want to stop killing their political opponents
7. Let's allow Hezbollah to decide if and when they want to disarm