STL Hears al-Jadeed Testimony, Sets New Date for al-Amin as Khayat Pleads Not Guilty

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

An initial hearing for Lebanese journalists and their media organizations on charges of contempt was held Tuesday at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon headquarters in The Hague, amid the absence of al-Akhbar's editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin who said he won't go to the court “unless measures are taken” to prove that it is seeking justice.

The STL said via twitter that the purpose of the initial appearance is for the judge to ensure that the rights of the accused and the right to be represented by counsel are respected.

“This follows the issuing of summons to appear or the execution of an arrest warrant against an individual charged of crimes before the STL,” it said.

Al-Jadeed TV Director General Dmitry Khodr and Karma al-Khayat, the deputy head of news at the station, entered pleas of not guilty.

“I came here to defend my rights under your laws,” Karma told the court.

She said her only crime was the “respect” for her profession and the “highlighting of the court's mistakes.”

But al-Akhbar newspaper's editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin announced that he will not appear before the STL.

The two journalists and their media organizations New TV S.A.L. and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. were charged with contempt before the tribunal after they disclosed details of alleged STL witnesses.

British Karim Khan is the counsel for New TV S.A.L and al-Khayat, who are charged with “knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by broadcasting and/or publishing information on purported confidential witnesses” and “knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by failing to remove from al-Jadeed TV’s website and al-Jadeed TV’s YouTube channel information on purported confidential witnesses.”

The counsel stated at the hearing that there is no conflict of interest in representing both NEW TV S.A.L and Khayat.

Khan indicated that al-Jadeed's Defense will challenge the jurisdiction with respect to the charges against the corporation.

Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri gave al-Jadeed until June 16 to file preliminary motions.

In the afternoon session, Lettieri set Thursday, May 29, as a new date for al-Amin to appear before court.

"We understand Ibrahim al-Amin's need to lay out a logical defense plan, but this does not require nor justifies postponing his initial appearance before the court," the judge said.

Meanwhile, head of STL's Defense Office Francois Roux stressed that the accused al-Amin should have enough time to choose his counsel.

“I will not appear before the STL on May 29 unless measures are taken to prove that the court is seeking justice,” al-Amin told reporters in Beirut after the session was adjourned.

“According to my initial evaluation, a deadline of two weeks will not be sufficient and I will consult with the lawyers to determine whether the timeframe is enough or not," he added.

"I need to form a defense team and this will require a series of measures, because there are court rules that violate the international law and there are rules of procedure that violate the STL's statute itself," the journalist went on to say.

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.”

Al-Amin was scheduled to appear at 4:30 pm Beirut time before Lettieri. But he said the court failed to address the newspaper's request to postpone the hearing.

Meanwhile, journalists held a solidarity meeting at the Press Syndicate headquarters in Beirut after the hearing opened in The Hague.

Al-Amin said at the meeting that his presence in the Hague is not important because the STL did not give him “guarantees.”

The STL has indicted five Hizbullah members for involvement in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's Feb. 2005 assassination.

The Trial Chamber on Monday ordered the resumption of trial of the accused on June 18.

G.K./Y.R.

Comments 24
Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 13:04

Rotten journalists for rotten media organisations who knowingly published information that endangered the lives of people.

This is a criminal act even though they are not responsible for the leak. With dozens of medias in Lebanon, why were they the only ones to publish this ? To obstruct justice !

This shows the STL is on the right track to demonstrate Hezbollah is behind the murders. Otherwise, there wouldn't be all this fuss !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 13:16

When it comes to freedom of expression Crusher, M8 supporters should simply shut up.

"Free Media" doesn't equate to the right to publish anything and everything.

And when you support Hezbollah who invades media organisations, kills supporters, murders journalists. When you support Iran and Syria who eliminate any opposing media and journalist. You shut up.

Media should not be a political tool to control and manipulate the masses just like you are manipulated and brainwashed. Al Jadeed and Al Akhbar are just that ! Political tools ! This is not journalism, this is toilet paper + sitcom tv channel !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 13:25

The anonymous witnesses are kept anonymous to prevent the defense from murdering them.

And by the way, there is no "defense" since Hezbollah is not participating in the trials having murdered their own assassins and all..

The STL is pissed off because these journalists have put the lives of the witnesses in jeopardy.

And they are not false witnesses. in fact, they are not even witnesses until they testify. Determining whether or not they are false witnesses can be done after their testimony where your lawyers have all the luxury of refuting their testimony

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 13:27

Just to be clear : "anonymous witnesses are kept anonymous to prevent the defense from countering their testimonies"

THis is pure propaganda and completely untrue as there is no "Testimony" yet and the defense can always "counter" them when heard !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 13:59

@Southern : Unless you can prove the STL is corrupt and that the witnesses are PAID to testify, then please keep your "opinions" to yourself as they are just that. Unfounded opinions which equate to slander !

And medals instead of jail ?

Like your Hassan who declared the murderers SAINTS ?

Don't worry, no one is going to jail and your murderers were eliminated by the Kezb anyway... dead or moved to Iran !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 15:13

@southern : the generals in question are criminals. And the reason they remained in jail is due to lebanese laws which you voted for. Nothing to do with STL. You know how many people stay in jail in Lebanon without trial ? Just go see in roumieh to figure this out.

Those generals are all criminals and complicit in the murders and people like your Saint Jamil el Sayyed deserve the death penalty !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 16:40

Southern. I can amuse you in similar ways to dig up trash about Hezbollah all over the web. It's not because someone has such an opinion and said opinion is publish that it is real.

The exact same can be said about Hezbollah which proclaims itself a "Lebanese resistance" when its flag officially states "Islamic Resistance in Lebanon". Its exclusively Shiite members make it a sectarian army, non-representative of the Lebanese people and extremely biased in favour of shias. Whereas official resistance movements represent and protect the entire social fabric.

Officially a resistance against "Israeli occupation" in Lebanon, Hezbollah has become a mercenary army fighting for Bashar el Assad under the orders of Iran. Hezbollah has also "Resisted" freedom seekers in Lebanon wanting to put all sects on equal grounds and demanding that the state be the sole armed entity in Lebanon.

The STL is as real as Hezbollah my friend. Live with it. If one is a fabrication, so is the other.

Thumb eagledawn 13 May 2014, 17:11

mowaten, is that why you post under crusher now, part of the witnesses' protection program?

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 17:15

@Mowaten / Crusher :

- Talking about Witness protection programs, you now admit their lives are in danger meaning either Hezbollah will kill them or the journalists did a terrible mistake !

- Talking about Banana courts ? Really ? Coming from a Pro-Syrian / Iranian supporter, you DARE TALK ABOUT BANANA COURTS ?

STL made possible by a corrupt government ? Let me remind you the STL was approved by your own politicians so shove it already !

Thumb eagledawn 13 May 2014, 17:48

@Flame-Catcher; don't give this fake the privilege of calling him @crusher. Always reminds him he is fake by calling him mowaten aka crusher..

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 17:55

Mowaten : the problem isn't with providing them protection. The problem is endangering their lives in the first place. Will you provide protection to them and their families ?

If you were to testify to a crime and provided witness protection. If the criminals put their hands on you cousins, uncles, aunts, brothers sisters, friends to force you to shut up. Would you still testify ?

For each witness, you need to provide witness protection to over 50 individuals which is not plausible. Hence the reason its illegal to disclose confidential witness names before they testify !

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 19:32

Crusher : excuse my ignorance but where do you read that these testimonies can be kept hidden from the defence team ? They can be held secret from the public but there is no court in the world where the defence cannot refute evidence and testimonies.

Thumb FlameCatcher 13 May 2014, 19:35

Mowaten : regarding the leak, there is a very simple copyright law. Forget everything else about the court. If you write a book and its leaked and someone else publishes it, it's simply illegal for them to publish it without your authorisation !

Also, if someone leaks fake information about the court and fabricates this information. Journalist publish them without even verifying that this info is real ? This is not journalism ! This is rotten propaganda !

Unless information is given by official sources and is verified by journalists, it's illegal for them to publish it. If they do, they are held accountable for what they publish whether or not its real is irrelevant !

Thumb FlameCatcher 14 May 2014, 12:25

Mowaten, this is BULL :

Subject to Rule 133, the identity of the victim or witness shall be disclosed in sufficient
time prior to the trial to allow adequate time for preparation of the defence.

Regarding National Security issues, this applies to any state or international body.

In any case, what you "fear" has not and will not happen. Otherwise, the defence would have "shouted". and what do you care ? You don't even believe in the STL...

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) 13 May 2014, 13:20

lets watch the tribunal and we will see at the end who got smaller in the eyes of the free world

Default-user-icon hanoun (Guest) 13 May 2014, 13:35

Canadian journalists who showed documents on tv did they were summoned to the court ?
and if info were leaked from tribunal itself what will happen the tribunal summon itself

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 13 May 2014, 17:40

No momo. HA muzzled the voices of Lebanon with their assassination of journalists. The STL is freeing Lebanon's voices.

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 13 May 2014, 18:01

freedom will reign supreme. That I promise you and HA. Their judgement day shall come and they will have to face the truth. History will not be kind. (but in the meantime, you can keep earning your paycheck with fabrication, falsifications and distortion).

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 13 May 2014, 18:51

Thanks for the advise but save your keystrokes for the gullible. There must be quite of few of them out there or you would not still be employed. That is the saddest part of this God forsaken failed state.

Missing peace 13 May 2014, 17:40

i love those hypocrit hezbi lovers who burned down a lebanese TV station in the name of "free press" i guess and now come and lecture others! LOL so entertaining to see hypocrits try and persuade people they love free press! LOL

Missing peace 13 May 2014, 18:10

yes hypocrits... you cry and whine and post like a madman when journalists that suit you get a rough time but when from a newspaper you despise you just shut up or say they deserve it! just like when they burned down future tv....

so YES hypocrits!

Missing peace 13 May 2014, 18:16

and what about the syrian journalist kidnapped by hezbollah and released a week after? freedom of press also? LOL

Missing peace 13 May 2014, 19:35

"avoiding to say a single word about the documented brutality against journalists by hariri supporters"

once again caught in your lies... reread my post and you read that i am with the freedom of the press whoever it is...

oh! and you fail to mention that i condemned the killing of the elmanar journalist... i m telling you so you ll see that the hypocrit does not stand at this side of the keyboard...

but the journalists killed and shred to pieces by your friends for standing against them, THAT you failed to mention.... see who the hypocrit is?

Thumb whyaskwhy 14 May 2014, 08:19

Ten years have almost come and gone and were no closer to getting this complete. Its the story of Lebanon live in denial and keep telling yourself those gods on the throne will get the Phoenix back in the air again soon....