A public hearing will take place on Wednesday, March 7 and the Trial Chamber Judges of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will render a decision on an application submitted by the Oneissi Defense seeking a judgement of acquittal under Rule 167 of the STL’s Rule of Procedure and Evidence, the STL said.
The Defense for Salim Ayyash, Hassan Merhi and Assad Sabra have not made submissions under Rule 167.
In accordance with this Rule entitled “Judgement of Acquittal at the Close of the Prosecution Case”, the Trial Chamber, after hearing submissions of the Parties, will issue a judgement of acquittal on any count if they find that there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction on that count, the STL said in a statement. The Prosecutor may appeal any judgement of acquittal under this Rule.
On Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 February 2018, lead counsel for the Accused Hussein Oneissi made oral submissions seeking a judgement of acquittal under Rule 167 in respect of all charges against Oneissi in the amended consolidated indictment. The Prosecution responded on February 21, followed by a reply from the Oneissi Defense.
The Prosecution and the Oneissi Defense also filed written submissions in accordance with an oral order of the Trial Chamber on the sufficiency of evidence on each count Oneissi is charged with and on the elements of complicity in Article 129 of the Lebanese Criminal Law.
The Tribunal is trying in absentia four alleged Hizbullah members accused of involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Earlier this month, prosecutors wrapped up their case after four years. They called more than 260 witnesses and showed judges some 2,470 exhibits as they laid out their case that the four suspects plotted together to blow up Hariri with a massive truck bomb.
Hizbullah has denied involvement in Hariri's assassination.
The case against a fifth suspect, Hizbullah military commander Mustafa Badreddine, was halted in 2016 after he was killed in Syria.
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