Naharnet

STL: Contempt Case against al-Amin Closed; Enforcement of Sentence against Akhbar Daily Outstanding

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in a statement on Wednesday that Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar daily, has satisfied the sentence imposed on him by the Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri on 29 August 2016.

The fine of €20,000 was received by the Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on 14 August 2018, it said.

As a result of these developments, Judge Lettieri has decided to lift the confidentiality of the enforcement proceedings against al-Amin.

The €6,000 fine imposed on Akhbar Beirut S.A.L remains outstanding. The Lebanese authorities have the ongoing obligation to ensure the sentence is enforced, said the statement.

On 31 January 2014, al-Amin and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. were charged with contempt and obstruction of justice before the STL in relation to media reports containing information about alleged confidential STL witnesses.

The charges were brought under Rule 60 bis (A) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which states that the Tribunal may hold in contempt persons who knowingly and willfully interfere with its administration of justice. Al-Amin and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. were each charged with one count of knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice (STL-14-06).

The trial in STL-14-06 opened before the Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri on 24 February 2016, with opening statements by the Amicus Curiae Prosecutor and the Defence. The Amicus presented his case-in-chief from 24 to 26 February and on 29 February and 1 March 2016. The Defence presented their case from 7 to 8 April. Both parties presented their closing arguments on 13 May 2016.

Contempt Judge Lettieri issued a judgment on 15 July 2016 finding both Accused guilty of one count of contempt for knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by publishing information on purported confidential witnesses in the Ayyash et al. case, thereby undermining public confidence in the Tribunal's ability to protect the confidentiality of information about, or provided by, witnesses or potential witnesses.

On 29 August 2016, al-Amin was sentenced to a €20,000 fine and Akhbar Beirut to a €6,000 fine, which neither appealed. The Contempt Judge also ordered that both fines be paid in full by 30 September 2016. Al-Amin failed to pay his fine.

After a number of measures to enforce the sentence had been taken, in furtherance of various orders from the Contempt Judge, the full fine of €20,000 was deposited with the Registry of the Tribunal on 14 August 2018. The €6,000 fine imposed on Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. remains outstanding.

The Lebanese authorities remain obligated to enforce this sentence, said the statement.

Source: Naharnet


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