STL Trial Chamber Sets June 13 Hearing for Arguments on Legality of Tribunal’s Creationإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Trial Chamber has scheduled a hearing on June 13 to hear arguments on the jurisdiction of the STL and the legality of its creation, announced the tribunal in statement on Monday.
“The defense counsel representing the four accused - Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Oneissi, and Assad Sabra - filed motions recently challenging the legality and jurisdiction of the tribunal,” it said.
In their motions, the Defense argued that the STL was established unlawfully and applies justice selectively.
It is common practice in international tribunals for the Defense to challenge the jurisdiction of the courts, explained the statement.
The Prosecution has until June 6 to file a response to the Defense motions, it revealed.
It added: “The landmark hearing will be another step towards trial in the case of Ayyash et al.”
The Trial Chamber ruled in February that the four accused would be tried in their absence.
The STL is the only existing international tribunal that can hold trials in absentia, since its statute includes elements of both Lebanese and international law.
Lawyers for the victims of the February 14, 2005 attack have been invited by the Trial Chamber to file observations on the challenges to the STL's jurisdiction.
The tribunal's Registrar appointed legal representatives for the victims participating in proceedings last week.
Hizbullah members Ayyash, Badreddine, Oneissi, and Sabra are wanted for the February 2005 suicide car bomb attack in Beirut that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others, including the suicide bomber.