Special Tribunal for Lebanon
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STL Adjourns in Absentia Trial Sessions to May

The Trial Chamber at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has “ordered the adjournment of the trial sessions until at least early to mid-May to allow Defense counsel for Hassan Habib Merhi adequate time to prepare for trial and to conduct their own investigations,” the STL said on Wednesday.

The chamber issued its written decision on Tuesday following the oral ruling of February 11 on the joinder of the Merhi case to the Ayyash et al. case.

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Lebanon First Bloc to Ask Ban to Refer Political Assassinations to STL

The Lebanon First parliamentary bloc is planning to send a petition to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to ask him to refer all assassinations committed in Lebanon after Dec.12, 2005 to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

The petition has been drafted and is awaiting the signature of the bloc's members, An Nahar newspaper reported on Friday.

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Syria Sentences Zuhair Siddiq, Murad Akram for 'False Hariri Trial Testimony'

A Syrian court has sentenced two men to prison for giving "false testimony" implicating Damascus in the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, a Syrian newspaper said Thursday.

The Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the government, said a court on Wednesday sentenced Murad Akram to 10 years in prison, including five years with hard labor, and Zuhair Mohamed Saeed Siddiq to 20 years in prison with 10 years of hard labor.

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Sayyed Cuts Ties with March 8 Camp after 'Huge Mistake' of Rifi's Appointment

Former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed announced on Saturday that he will be “cutting his ties” with the March 8 camp, following the appointment of the former Internal Security Forces chief as the new Justice Minister.

"I announce cutting communication ties with the March 8 camp,” Sayyed said in a released statement.

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STL Suspends Sessions Awaiting the Readiness of Merhi's Defense for Trials

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon suspended on Wednesday its sessions after the case of fifth suspect Hassan Merhi was joined to that of the four already convicted fugitives.

"We will announce the date of the upcoming session once Merhi's defense team has prepared all the necessary documents and is ready to take part in the trials,” STL Presiding Judge David Re announced.

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STL Trial Chamber Approves Joinder of Merhi, Ayyash et al. Cases

The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Tuesday approved a request from the Prosecution to join the case against the accused Hassan Habib Merhi to the case against Salim Ayyash, Mustafa Badreddine, Assad Sabra and Hussein Oneissi, whose in absentia trial had started on January 16.

The chamber issued its oral ruling during a public hearing in The Hague, saying a written decision on the matter will be issued “in due course.”

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Marshall Islands Nominate Jamil Sayyed as Their Paris-Based Envoy to UNESCO

The Marshall Islands have nominated former Lebanese General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, who was detained in connection with ex-premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, as their envoy to UNESCO, the U.N. agency said Monday.

The move could see Sayyed given immunity from prosecution as the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon looks into the Hariri case.

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ISF Officer Tells STL He Received Orders to Rush to Crime Scene, Says 6 Cars Removed on Night after Blast

An Internal Security Forces officer, Tanios Gemayel, briefed the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Monday on several missions that he undertook the day ex-Premier Rafik Hariri was assassinated on Feb. 14, 2005.

First Adjutant Gemayel, who works with judicial police in the scientific division and is a member of the Central Incident Bureau, appeared as a witness from Beirut via video link.

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Retired British Officer Testifies at STL on Mitsubishi Items Found in Seabed

A retired British police officer testified at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Friday on the operations that took place to recover pieces from the seabed in the vicinity of the area where ex-Premier Rafik Hariri was assassinated on Feb. 14, 2005.

Witness Malcolm Wilson, who used to work in the anti-terror unit of British police, briefed the court on a report he had written on the search of identified open sea area, swimming pool, and marina surrounding the St. Georges Yacht Club.

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Protected Witness Resumes STL Testimony on ISF Measures Taken to Preserve Hariri Crime Scene

A protected witness from the Internal Security Forces resumed on Thursday his testimony before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the role his bureau played in tackling the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005.

The witness' cross-examination was conducted by the Defense after he was interrogated on Wednesday by the Prosecution.

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