Baragwanath: STL Can Address False Witnesses File after Lebanese Govt., U.N. Agree to it

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The newly-appointed President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Judge Sir David Baragwanath stated that the STL does not have jurisdiction in tackling the “so-called false witnesses file.”

He said in his first public statements since assuming his position: “We don’t have jurisdiction to tackle the false witnesses file until the Lebanese government, U.N., and Security Council agree to it.”

He made his statements in a series of videos posted on the tribunal website.

Baragwanath defined “witness as someone who says something before a court or a tribunal” or “someone who saw something and is able to talk about that.”

Regarding the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, it seems that the word witness is referring to “people who supposedly saw or knew about something gave to the International Independent Investigation Commission an account that was untrue that led to the arrest and detention of four generals,” he explained.

Jamil Sayyed, Mustafa Hamdan, Ali al-Hajj, and Raymond Azar were held by Lebanese authorities for nearly four years without charge over Hariri’s assassination.

They were released in April 2009 following a ruling from the STL.

In the ruling, the tribunal's first since opening its doors, Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen granted a request by Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare who said the available evidence was "not sufficiently credible" to hold the generals.

On whether the STL can try political assassinations in Lebanon that occurred after 2005, Baragwanath replied: “Our primary jurisdiction is to deal with the assassination that occurred on February 14, 2005, which was a major event by which our other jurisdiction is assessed.”

“We have a further jurisdiction in relation to the periods between October1, 2004 and December 12, 2005. And, if crimes during that period are connected, in accordance with the principles of criminal justice, and are of a nature and gravity similar to the attack of February 14, 2005, we have jurisdiction over them,” he explained.

So far three cases have been found to be connected to Hariri’s February 2005 assassination; they include the attempted assassination of former ministers Marwan Hamadeh and Elias al-Murr and the assassination of former Communist Party leader George Hawi.

The STL can tackle the crimes that have taken place after December 12, 2005 if an agreement between the Lebanese government, U.N., and Security Council to do so is reached, revealed Baragwanath.

Asked about how the STL can contribute to the rule of law in Lebanon, the tribunal president responded: “Contributing to the rule of law in Lebanon is the very reason that the STL was established.”

“Our primary task is, of course, to deal justly with the cases that are before us,” he said.

“We hope to contribute to the rule of law in Lebanon by both objectively being able to deal with these cases properly and being seen to do so,” he continued.

“And when the people in Lebanon see that happening, in relation to cases from their country applying their law, that will we hope be such contribution,” he stressed.

Baragwanath hoped that the tribunal would ultimately help end impunity in Lebanon.

He concluded: “Our existence is a temporary one; we look forward to doing ourselves out of a job.”

Comments 6
Thumb jcamerican 01 March 2012, 17:12

I want to understand what evidence the court has. They started with the arrest of four generals, then they said it was a mistake. What evidence do they have in pursuing this case except for hearsay.

Default-user-icon 4G (Guest) 01 March 2012, 18:10

jcamerican,you are an imbecile,you just have to wait for that evidence.Evidence will be presented at the appropriate time.You and all your monkeys might get to excited if you get hold of the mountain of evidence the tribunal has against your murderious Hero's.I suggest you should start raising funds for a good legal team to defend the murderess.Justice is coming.

Thumb jcamerican 01 March 2012, 22:13

4G You are the imbecile. You can wait for the grass to grow so you can eat it. You are assuming Hizballah is guilty, like you assume that I was Lebanese. Do you know who was accused for Lockerbie Pan Am bombing for years. Go do your research. The knowledge I forgot, is 100 times what you know now.

Default-user-icon the-judge (Guest) 02 March 2012, 08:08

I agree with you, I think that they have been preparing their coup on Lebanon since years, and accusation is really something easy when they own all the Media. I would like to add in addition to lockerbie, the 11 september 2001 when they all accused Benladen who was ill and sick and living in Bora bora and probably dead.

Default-user-icon 4G (Guest) 02 March 2012, 09:28

Jcamerican,no disrespect intended.However I wholly believe you are an imbecile, for your narrowed minded comments.And I'm not assuming I'm convinced the criminal Syrian regime and their cohorts are guilty of all charges.And if evidence is presented at your convenience I'm sure you might mishandle it ie interfere with witnesses or worse you might self harm.Then the special tribunal might be liable and again what's worse i will feel a loss.

Thumb chrisrushlau 01 March 2012, 19:38

The evidence is cell phone records at the time that the cell phone company was penetrated by Israeli spies.
As for the contribution of the STL to the health of law in Lebanon. What will the people of Lebanon do when (if) they see "these case handled properly"? They will remember what justice is? How could they have forgotten it? Because the foreign powers distorted their democracy? So other foreign intervention will remind them again?
If Shiites are the majority of Lebanese, if Hezbullah speaks for all Shiites, and if Hezbullah invited the Syrians in to protect Lebanon from the militias supported by the foreign powers, then the only lesson in justice the Lebanese people need now is for the STL, Maureen Connelley, and the rest of the racist-genocidal (i.e., pro-Israel) "international community" to leave Lebanon alone. Bandits!