Marten Youssef: New Evidence Needed to Change STL Trial Dateإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Special Tribunal for Lebanon spokesman Marten Youssef hailed on Friday a decision by an STL judge to set March 25 as the tentative date to start the trial in absentia of four suspects and stressed new evidence should be provided to ask for a change in that date.
In remarks to al-Joumhouria daily, Youssef said Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen’s decision “is a unique opportunity for the international tribunal and the Lebanese people and is an important step on the road to trials.”
“This step would come two years after the release of the indictment which gives enough time for the defense and the prosecution to get ready for the trials,” the spokesman of the Tribunal that is set to try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 suspected assassins said.
But he told the newspaper the involved parties have the right to appeal Fransen’s decision by proving that they have new evidence that would justify the change of the tentative date.
The STL said in a press release on Thursday that the date may be subject to change pending further developments, such as the possibility of the Prosecutor filing a request to amend the indictment, or the arrest of an accused.
It is also subject to the Trial Chamber's decision on the Tribunal's jurisdiction and their rulings on other preliminary motions.
The STL is the only international court that allows trials in absentia. The four suspects are Hizbullah members Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Hussein Oneissi and Assad Sabra.