Naharnet

STL Orders Initial Appearances of Ibrahim al-Amin, Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. on May 29

Contempt Judge at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Nicola Lettieri ordered on Friday the initial appearances on May 29 of the Accused in the case against Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. and its editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin.

The journalist and the media organization are charged with contempt before the STL for knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice, the Tribunal said in a statement.

The session will be held at 3:00 pm CET.

The initial appearances were originally scheduled on May 13, but were postponed upon the request of al-Amin, who asked for additional time to select legal counsel.

As stated by the Contempt Judge in the summons, the Accused may decide either to come to the seat of the Tribunal or to make their initial appearance by video-conference, provided that counsel attends in person.

The hearings will be public, but the judge may decide to go into closed session if confidential matters need to be discussed.

Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. and al-Amin are charged with “knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by publishing information on purported confidential witnesses in the Ayyash et al. Case.”

New TV S.A.L. and deputy head of news at al-Jadeed television Karma Tahsin al-Khayat have been also accused of the same charges.

An initial hearing for Lebanese journalists and their media organizations on charges of contempt was held on May 13 at the STL headquarters in The Hague.

Al-Jadeed Director General Dmitry Khodr and Khayat entered pleas of not guilty.

Al-Amin did not attend the session.

In April last year, a list of 167 names of so-called witnesses for the former Premier Rafik Hariri trial was published by a previously unknown group identified as "Journalists for the Truth".

The group said it wanted to "unveil the corruption" of the STL.

Both al-Akhbar and al-Jadeed published the list.

M.T.

H.K.


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