BEIRUT

Lubnan

Development of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon through the years

  • File - The swearing-in ceremony of Judge Ivana Hrdli?kov? in Leidschendam, near The Hague, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)

The following is a timeline of the key events in the history of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. 2009

March 1 – Special Tribunal for Lebanon opens its doors.

April 29 – Pretrial judge Daniel Fransen orders the release of four pro-Syrian generals held in connection with the Hariri assassination for lack of evidence.

May 23 – German magazine Der Spiegel reveals that a breakthrough in the tribunal’s investigations points to Hezbollah in the Hariri case.

July 10 – David Tolbert appointed STL Registrar after resignation of Robin Vincent.

2010

March 1 – Herman von Hebel appointed STL registrar.

July 22 – Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says in a news conference that the STL will be indicting members of the party in connection with the Hariri assassination.

Aug. 9 – Nasrallah holds a news conference in which he accuses Israel of orchestrating the Hariri assassination and presents evidence of its alleged complicity.

Aug. 11 – Prosecutor Bellemare invites Nasrallah to submit this evidence and to use his authority to facilitate the investigation.

Aug. 17 – Hezbollah officials hand-deliver an envelope of six DVDs to the Lebanese Prosecutor General, who sends it to the STL.

Aug. 24 – Prosecutor Bellemare requests the rest of the evidence against Israel referred to by Nasrallah in his news conference.

Oct. 27 – STL investigators in Beirut are attacked and material from the case is stolen during a prearranged visit to question a doctor.

Nov. 21 – A CBC report confirms that the U.N. investigation indicates Hezbollah’s complicity in the Hariri murder, links the assassination of ISF Captain Wissam Eid to his role in the investigation and reveals that investigators were suspicious of Gen Wissam al-Hasan, who was Hariri’s chief of protocol at the time.

2011

Jan. 17 – Prosecutor Bellemare submits the first indictment in the Hariri case.

Feb. 16 – The appeals chamber issues a 152-page decision that also defines the crime of terrorism.

March 11 – Prosecutor Bellemare amends the indictment, expanding its scope.

May 6 – Prosecutor Bellemare amends the indictment for a second time, citing “substantial new elements” in the Hariri case.

June 28 – Judge Fransen confirms the indictment, indicating that there is enough prima facie evidence to proceed to trial.

June 30 – The indictment is served to the Lebanese authorities with arrest warrants.

July 8 – Judge Fransen issues international arrest warrants for the accused.

July 12 – The STL opens the application process for victims of the Hariri attack to participate in trial.

July 29 – The pretrial judge orders the unsealing of part of the indictment detailing the identities and charges against four Hezbollah members: Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra and Hussein Oneissi.

Aug. 9 – The Lebanese authorities report back to the tribunal that they had failed in their efforts to arrest the accused.

Aug. 17 – The indictment is unsealed, providing the first official details on the prosecution’s case, which relies heavily on telecommunications evidence.

Aug. 19 – STL claims jurisdiction over the attacks against MP Marwan Hamade, former Minister Elias Murr and Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, saying they are “connected” to the Hariri attack.

Sept. 8 – The tribunal’s trial chamber is convened for the first time.

Oct. 10 – Judge David Baragwanath is appointed STL president.

Oct. 22 – Former STL President Antonio Cassese dies.

Nov. 11 – The trial chamber holds its first public session to hear arguments on launching in absentia proceedings in the Hariri case.

2012

Feb. 1 – The trial chamber orders that suspects in the Hariri case be tried in absentia.

Feb. 15 – Defense lawyers for Hezbollah member suspects appointed by the STL.

Feb. 29 – Ban Ki-Moon appoints Norman Farrell as STL prosecutor.

July 19 – Pretrial judge sets tentative date for trial in March 2013.

July 30 – The trial chamber confirms the STL’s jurisdiction over the Hariri attack and dismisses challenges to its legality by defense lawyers.

Oct. 19 – A car bomb blast in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Beirut kills ISF Information branch chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan and at least three others, wounding more than 90.

Nov. 15 – Prosecution files a pretrial brief elaborating on the charges in the indictment, as well as a list of witnesses and evidence it intends to present in trial. The prosecution says it intends to call 557 witnesses and present 13,170 pieces of evidence in trial.

2013

Feb. 21 – Judge Fransen postpones the start of trial.

July 24 – Daryl Mundis appointed STL registrar.

Aug. 2 – Judge Fransen sets Jan. 13, 2014, as tentative date for the start of the trial.

Oct. 10 – STL announces a fifth Hezbollah suspect, Hassan Merhi, was indicted in connection with the Hariri assassination.

Oct. 28 – The Hariri case file is transferred to the trial chamber.

Dec. 10 – The trial chamber confirms Jan. 16, 2014, as the start date for the trial.

Dec. 20 – The trial chamber decides to try Hassan Merhi in absentia, after citing details of Hezbollah officials impeding efforts to reach out to Merhi and visit his home in the southern suburbs. The prosecutor later asks for Merhi’s case to be joined to the main Hariri case.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 09, 2014, on page 2.
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Summary

April 29 – Pretrial judge Daniel Fransen orders the release of four pro-Syrian generals held in connection with the Hariri assassination for lack of evidence.

Aug. 11 – Prosecutor Bellemare invites Nasrallah to submit this evidence and to use his authority to facilitate the investigation.

Jan. 17 – Prosecutor Bellemare submits the first indictment in the Hariri case.

March 11 – Prosecutor Bellemare amends the indictment, expanding its scope.

May 6 – Prosecutor Bellemare amends the indictment for a second time, citing "substantial new elements" in the Hariri case.

June 28 – Judge Fransen confirms the indictment, indicating that there is enough prima facie evidence to proceed to trial.

Aug. 17 – The indictment is unsealed, providing the first official details on the prosecution's case, which relies heavily on telecommunications evidence.

Nov. 15 – Prosecution files a pretrial brief elaborating on the charges in the indictment, as well as a list of witnesses and evidence it intends to present in trial. The prosecution says it intends to call 557 witnesses and present 13,170 pieces of evidence in trial.


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