Special Tribunal for Lebanon
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Gemayel Expresses Grave Concern over 'Dangerous' Situation

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel expressed concern on Thursday over the “dangerous situation” imposed by the vacuum at the Baabda Palace, calling on the Lebanese arch-foes, in particular those behind the obstruction of the presidential elections, to assume their responsibilities.

“Lebanese factions shouldn't under any circumstances obstruct a national, legal, constitutional and political path,” Gemayel said in a lengthy interview with the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper. “It is an unforgivable sin.”

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March 14 Urges Govt. to Implement Security Plan in Bekaa in Light of Btedei Unrest

The March 14 General Secretariat condemned on Wednesday the recent clashes in the eastern Bekaa town of Btedei, saying it was a sign that the “state is incapable of seizing control of security.”

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “The government should implement a security plan in the Bekaa similar to the one adopted in the North.”

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Hamadeh Tells STL of Assad's Threat to Hariri to Keep Lahoud in Power

MP Marwan Hamadeh told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Wednesday how relations between slain ex-PM Rafik Hariri and Syrian President Bashar Assad broke down over the extension of President Emile Lahoud's term in 2004.

Hamadeh, on his third day of testimony, said he met with Hariri at the residence of Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat in Beirut's Clemenceau area in August 2004 upon the former premier's return to the Lebanese capital from a meeting with Assad.

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Mashnouq Expects Further Security Turbulence in Lebanon

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq stressed on Wednesday that the upcoming year in Iraq and Syria will witness tough security developments, which will have severe repercussions on Lebanon.

“We are ready to face all the possible scenarios and the security forces are on full alert,” Mashnouq said in comments to As Safir newspaper.

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STL May Summon Jumblat to Testify as Hamadeh Addresses Syrian Opposition to Taef, Hariri-Lahoud Ties

MP Marwan Hamadeh resumed on Tuesday his testimony before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, focusing on Syria's hegemony over Lebanon under the premiership of slain PM Rafik Hariri and examining his ties with former President Emile Lahoud.

The ties between Hariri and MP Walid Jumblat came into prominence during the debate over the extension of Lahoud's term in 2004, prompting the STL Prosecution to reveal that it is studying the possibility of summoning the lawmaker to make his testimony before the tribunal.

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Hamadeh Testifies at STL over Syria Complicity

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon heard on Monday the testimony of Shouf MP Marwan Hamadeh in the Feb. 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri, at the start of evidence provided by Lebanese politicians and influential figures on Syria's alleged complicity in the killing.

Hamadeh said Hariri played a major role in the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Taef Accord in 1989. But the agreement “wasn't enforced because of political conflicts.”

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Salam Voices Hope Rival Parties Agree on New Electoral Law

Prime Minister Tammam Salam expressed hope on Monday that the political arch-foes would reach an agreement on a modern electoral law that has a better parliamentary representation.

“Efforts should be exerted on all levels to agree on a consensual electoral law,” Salam said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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MP Hamadeh to Make Political Testimony before STL Next Week

MP Marwan Hamadeh is scheduled on Monday to make his political testimony before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.

His testimony will pave the way to tackling the political motivations linked to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, added the daily.

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Salam Resorts to Undetailed Financial Process to Fund STL

Prime Minister Tammam Salam used an undetailed financial process to pay Lebanon’s full share of funds to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Saturday.

The daily reported that the March 8 alliance ministers informed Salam that they reject to fund the STL, urging him to allocate the money to fund the tribunal from sources other than the state's treasury.

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STL Confirms Receiving Lebanon Share of 2014 Budget

The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon confirmed Thursday that it has received Lebanon's share of its 2014 budget from the Lebanese government.

“The full sum of € 29,347,003.50, 49% of the Tribunal's budget, was transferred to the Tribunal's bank account this morning,” the STL said in a statement.

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