Naharnet

Ban Urges ‘All States’ to Cooperate with STL, Copy of Indictment to be Submitted to him ‘Soon’

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has reiterated his “strong support” for the international tribunal, which has submitted to the Lebanese authorities a sealed indictment and arrest warrants in the case of ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

The secretary general calls on “all states to support the independent judicial process, in particular by cooperating with the Special Tribunal in the execution of the indictment and arrest warrants," said a statement issued by his spokesperson on Thursday.

Ban “expects the new government of Lebanon to uphold all of Lebanon's international obligations and to cooperate with the Special Tribunal,” it said.

A high-ranking official in New York told An Nahar daily in remarks published Friday that the U.N. Secretariat hasn’t yet received a copy of the indictment.

The official said STL President Judge Antonio Cassese and Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare are expected to hand over the copy to Ban and the Security Council “soon” in accordance with resolution 1757.

“All we know is that STL Pre-trial Judge Daniel Fransen confirmed the indictment that was amended by Prosecutor Bellemare,” the top diplomat said.

The indictment will remain “sealed” until the end of the 30-day period during which the Lebanese authorities should provide details on the whereabouts of the suspects, he told An Nahar.

The official rejected to link the date of the indictment’s release to the warning level raised by UNIFIL. That level was raised after the incidents that the U.N. peacekeepers faced, he said.


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