STL Establishes Jurisdiction over Hamadeh, Murr, Hawi Attacks
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has established jurisdiction over three attacks relating to former ministers Marwan Hamadeh and Elias al-Murr and former head of the Lebanese Communist Party George Hawi, said the STL in a press release.
Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen has also ordered that the Lebanese authorities provide the relevant files to the Prosecutor, it added.
On June 30, 2011, Fransen received a request from the Office of the Prosecutor to determine whether or not these cases are connected to the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, it continued.
Fransen ruled confidentially on August 5 that the Prosecutor had presented prima facie evidence that each of the three cases are connected, and are thus within the Tribunal's jurisdiction, explained the statement.
“Fransen has today issued three deferral orders requesting the Lebanese judiciary to comply within the next 14 working days,” it said.
“The Pre-Trial Judge authorizes the Prosecution to share his confidential decision on the connected cases with the Lebanese authorities,” it continued.
The decision on connectedness otherwise remains confidential so as not to compromise the investigation, and to protect the victims and potential witnesses.
“According to the Tribunal’s Statute, a case is connected to the February 14, 2005 attack if it is of a ‘similar nature and gravity’ and has a number of elements in common with it, such as ‘the criminal intent (motive), purpose behind the attacks, the nature of the victims targeted, the pattern of the attacks (modus operandi) and the perpetrators’,” explained the STL statement.
“According to Article 1 of the Statute, the Tribunal has jurisdiction over attacks that occurred in Lebanon between October 1, 2004 and December 12, 2005 but only if their connectedness to the Hariri attack is determined by the Pre-Trial Judge,” it added.
“While the Pre-Trial Judge's rulings do not mean that an indictment will necessarily be issued by the Prosecution, it allows them to continue investigating these cases,” it said.
“It is for the Prosecutor to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment in any of these three connected cases,” concluded the statement.