STL Fines al-Amin 20,000 Euros for Court Contempt

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Monday fined the editor of al-Akhbar newspaper 20,000 euros for publishing secret information about witnesses in the case against the alleged killers of former premier Rafik Hariri.

Ibrahim al-Amin, al-Akhbar's editor-in-chief, was found guilty in July of contempt of court by the U.N.-backed STL.

The prosecutor on Monday urged the court, based in the leafy town of Leidschendam just outside The Hague, to impose a two-year jail term on Amin and a $75,000 fine.

Amin and the pro-Hizbullah al-Akhbar newspaper were convicted of contempt after running two articles in January 2013 with the names and photographs of 32 witnesses in its Arabic print and online editions.

The articles were entitled "STL Leaks: The Prosecution's Surprise Witnesses" and "The STL Witness List: Why We Published".

Hariri and 22 others, including a suspected suicide bomber, died in a massive car bomb blast on the Beirut waterfront on February 14, 2005.

"I sentence M. Ibrahim Mohammed Ali al-Amin to a fine of 20,000 euros, to be paid in full by 30 September, 2016," said judge Nicola Lettieri.

He also imposed "a fine of 6,000 thousand euros to be paid in full by 30 September, 2016" on the paper.

The prosecutor Kenneth Scott had also called for a fine of 112,700 euros to be imposed on the paper.

But defense counsel Antonios Abu Kasm argued that such a fine would end up "penalizing the employees and their families, who will suffer direct financial consequences, given the already delicate financial situation" of the paper.

Five suspected members of Hizbullah were originally indicted by the court, set up in 2009, and their trial in absentia opened in January 2014. 

However, the court has quashed the case against one of the accused, Hizbullah military commander Mustafa Badreddine, who is believed to have died in fighting in Syria in May.

Earlier this year the STL acquitted on appeal a senior al-Jadeed television journalist, Karma al-Khayyat, in a similar case involving the alleged publication of witness names in the highly-sensitive trial.

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the tribunal as a U.S.-Israeli plot, and vowed none of the defendants will ever be caught.

Comments 5
Thumb warrior 29 August 2016, 18:42

i am sure he will go to the nearest BLOM bank and deposit the fine.

Thumb Southern...... 29 August 2016, 19:26

they prefer money! you don't know what the STL is about, get it!

Thumb .mowaten. 30 August 2016, 14:46

hundreds of millions of dallars and 11 years since the assassination, and still not a shred of any concrete answers. all they can do now is mess around with journalists and intimidate them into silence.

who leaked the "secret" info about the witnesses? how come the STL never tried to investigate within its own ranks? are they trying to avoid exposing the tribunal corruption, or are they just so clueless and incompetent?
if they are really worried about the witnesses safety they should be more concerned with corrupt insiders who could leak sensitive information silently at any time, than those who brought the leaks to the public.

Thumb caballeros 30 August 2016, 10:18

I find it funny the fine is in euros and not lebanese pounds or US dollars. Any other country in the region that has rejected the dollar has broken out in war. I guess their is no faith in the local currency of politicians.

Thumb .mowaten. 30 August 2016, 17:22

partition all you want in texas