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No Timeframe for Indictment Review, Says STL Spokesperson

Special Tribunal for Lebanon spokesperson Marten Youssef has reiterated that there is no fixed timeframe for the review of the indictment and the supporting material submitted by STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare to Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen.

Asked whether the indictment's amendments filed by Bellemare on March 11 and May 6 had anything to do with the current political vacuum in Lebanon or the uprisings in the region, especially in Syria, Youssef told Lebanese daily Sada al-Balad that STL's judicial measures are "based on evidence" and administered by judges abiding by the "highest level of impartiality."

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Connelly Meets Miqati, Hopes New Govt Will Uphold STL Support

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on Thursday held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati and discussed with him the U.S. administration’s “developing view on the dramatic events that have occurred and continue to occur in the region,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement after the meeting.

“Connelly expressed the U.S. government’s view that the governments of the region ought to listen to their people, refrain from violence, and engage in political dialogue in order to insure that the legitimate changes and reforms they demand can begin to be implemented,” according to the embassy’s statement.

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Fransen Orders Release of More Than 270 Probe Documents to Sayyed

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen has ordered that STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare release more than 270 documents to Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, Lebanon’s former General Security chief, STL’s press office said Thursday.

“Fransen ruled that Mr. Sayyed would receive some of the documents in the possession of the STL Prosecutor very soon. A large majority of these will be disclosed to Mr. Sayyed, whilst others can only be inspected by his counsel,” the press office clarified in a communiqué.

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Report: Estonians YouTube Video Uploaded from Damascus

Nearly two months after the kidnapping of seven Estonian cyclists in Lebanon, the case remains shrouded in mystery with little information gleaned on their whereabouts or those behind the abduction.

The seven men, all in their 30s, were nabbed on March 23 shortly after entering Lebanon on their bicycles from neighboring Syria.

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UNIFIL Delivers Vehicles to Lebanese Army

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon delivered 106 vehicles and related spare parts to the Lebanese army at a ceremony on Thursday at UNIFIL’s Headquarters in Naqoura.

The delivery of the U.N.-owned vehicles, the third batch in little over a year, is part of UNIFIL’s efforts to support the Lebanese army in line with U.N. Security Council resolution 1701 and to buttress the operational capabilities of its strategic partner in southern Lebanon, the international force said in a statement.

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Roumieh Inmates Call for Liberation of Prisoners Day on May 25

Roumieh prisoners on Wednesday appealed through Voice of Lebanon radio station for announcing May 25 a day for the liberation of prisoners in Lebanon.

Lebanon celebrates Liberation Day to mark the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon on May 25, 2000 after 22 years of occupation.

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Geagea: Hizbullah and Syria Want to Form a Cabinet that Reflects their Image

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea blasted Hizbullah on Thursday for allegedly targeting the country’s democracy saying Lebanon’s problems would not be solved without a solution to the Shiite party’s arms.

“We are living today in a state of emergency and have a problem given the presence of an armed party” that cripples “democratic work,” Geagea told a visiting delegation from the Popular University in Batroun.

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Miqati’s Circles: Leaked Info Aimed at Luring him into Confrontations

The circles of Premier-designate Najib Miqati have stressed that reports about a final deal on the cabinet lineup were aimed at luring him into taking certain stances.

The circles told several Beirut dailies that Miqati will not be influenced by the reports and will continue his consultations with the involved parties to reach the desired results.

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Pietton Warns Miqati, Berri About Political Vacuum

France warned the Lebanese from the risk of the absence of a government in a letter delivered by French ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton to both Speaker Nabih Berri and Premier-designate Najib Miqati on Wednesday.

After his talks with Miqati, Pietton expressed his country’s concern over the unstable Lebanese situation amid Arab revolutions.

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Cabinet Formation Awaits Comprehensive Deal on Lineup

The formation of the new government is still awaiting major agreement on the entire line-up despite a preliminary consensus on retired Internal Security Forces Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbel to lead the interior ministry, Baabda palace sources said.

President Michel Suleiman’s visitors told An Nahar newspaper in remarks published Thursday that all sides have a serious intention to end the cabinet deadlock but warned that consultations are carried out to reach agreement on the entire lineup, which means that any snag could further delay the formation of the cabinet.

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