Farrell Says STL Trying Individuals Not Parties, Offers Help in Tueni, Gemayel Cases
The Prosecutor of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Norman Farrell, pointed out Wednesday that the tribunal is not trying political parties, organizations or states but rather individuals.
Speaking during an STL-organized meeting with journalists in The Hague, Farrell noted that the court does not have jurisdiction, so far, to look into the assassinations of MP Gebran Tueni, industry minister Pierre Gemayel and other figures who were murdered after Hariri's assassination. He, however, added that the STL can establish jurisdiction over the cases should it discover links to Hariri's case.
The Prosecutor also announced that the court is willing to help Lebanese authorities in the investigations.
As for the new indictment that he filed with the Pre-Trial Judge in July 2017, Farrell told journalists that he cannot unveil its content before its confirmation by the judge.
Noting that he is convinced of the evidence he cited in his case, the Prosecutor revealed that he has managed to verify the involvement of three phone lines in activities linked to monitoring Hariri's movement prior to the bomb attack.
Farrell also noted that Hizbullah's declaration that its former military commander Mustafa Badreddine had been killed in combat in Syria verifies that he had a strong military experience, which would strengthen the Prosecution's argument rather than weaken it.
The STL had on February 7 announced that the Prosecutor had completed the presentation of evidence, marking the conclusion of the prosecution case.
Since the start of the Prosecution case, the Prosecution has presented evidence from over 260 individual witnesses and about 2,470 exhibits in documentary form, the STL said.
“On 20 and 21 February, the Trial Chamber will hear the Rule 167 submissions of the Defense, any response from the Prosecution and any reply from the Defense. A judgment of acquittal or a decision dismissing the application will be delivered in court as soon as practicable thereafter,” the court added.
The Ayyash et al. case relates to the February 14, 2005 attack which killed 22 individuals, including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and injured 226 others.
The Accused Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra remain at large. The proceedings against them are being held in absentia. On July 11, 2016, the Appeals Chamber ordered the termination of the proceedings against slain Hizbullah commander Mustafa Badreddine.
The trial is making it possible for the Lebanese people to see evidence being presented and challenged, as well as witnesses testifying and being cross-examined in public.
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the court as a U.S.-Israeli scheme and vowed that the accused will never be found.