Lebanon News

Al Jadeed, Khayyat plead "not guilty" in STL hearing

This Screen grab shows Karma Khayyat, deputee head of news at Al Jadeed TV, speaking during a hearing before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Hague, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

12:31 - Judge Lettieri adjourns contempt hearing.

12: 29 - Judge Lettieri says Khayyat does not have to attend future status conferences if she is represented by counsel.

12: 27 - Khan says he may challenge the STL's jurisdiction in prosecuting a corporate entity.

12: 26 - Defense lawyer Karim Khan demands the prosecution clarify the legal entity accused of contempt - whether it is New TV S.A.L. or Al Jadeed TV.

12: 24 - Judge Lettieri gives Al Jadeed until June 16 to file preliminary motions.

12: 16 - Amicus Curiae Kenneth Scott says prosecution ready to begin disclosing material immediately to defense lawyers, and will complete all disclosure by May 30.

12: 11 - Karim Khan: We have not received any documents yet from the prosecutors. We need enough time to present a strong defence, and more time after the disclosure of documents to respond.

12: 07 - Judge Lettieri: Preliminary challenges in the case must be presented by May 30. These would likely include challenges to the court's right to prosecute the journalists at all.

12: 06 - Judge Lettieri orders disclosure of all information by the prosecutor to the defense in the case as soon as possible.

12: 04 - Judge Lettieri discussing logistical details in the case, including the need for defendants to maintain the confidentiality of information disclosed to them by the "amicus curiae" - the prosecutor in the contempt case.

11: 52 - Khayyat: My country exchanged Syrian tutelage for Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Chapter 7 is the tool used by the Security Council to compel states to accept international resolutions under threat of sanctions or military intervention.

11: 52 - Khayyat: Victims and family of victims have a right to see a fair trial being conducted.

11: 51 - Khayyat: I do not want the press to be “deprived from a fundamental right.” Our only crime is that we respected the highest ideals of our profession and highlighted the mistakes of the court

11: 50 - Khayyat: I am here to address charges that address the core principles of journalism. Seeking information is a “sacred right” for the press enshrined in international covenants.

11: 50 - Khayyat: “Whoever is right should not be afraid.”

11: 49 - Khayyat will address the court for 2 minutes.

11: 43 - Khayyat speaks for the first time before the court, confirming her full name and date of birth.

11: 41 - Lead defense counsel for Karma al Khayyat is British lawyer Karim Khan.

11: 38 - STL hearing on contempt resumed. Initial appearance of Karma al-Khayyat, the deputy news editor of Al Jadeed, to occur now.

11: 35 - Ibrahim al-Amin, editor in chief of Al Akhbar, tells reporters at a gathering in Beirut to protest the prosecution of journalists that he asked the STL to carry out certain procedures and that he will not appear before the court unless they are implemented. Amin said the Lebanese authorities should act to protect their own laws and that the tribunal is not a fait accompli.

11: 16 - STL adjourns briefly. Initial appearance of Karma al-Khayyat scheduled for 11:30 am Beirut time.

11: 14 - Al Jadeed TV has entered a plea of not guilty on both charges in the indictment.

11: 12 - STL: New TV and Khayyat are accused of wilfully and knowingly interfering with the administration of justice by broadcasting the material and therefore undermining confidence in the tribunal, and failing to remove the material.

11: 11 - STL: Khayyat failed to remove the material despite order from the court.

11: 10 - STL: Khayyat decided to broadcast the material. Al Jadeed posted the material on their website and YouTube channel.

11: 09 - STL: Between February and August 2012, Khayyat tasked Al Jadeed reporter Rami al-Amin to investigate and prepare a report on "purported confidential witnesses." Amin met and called purported witnesses and video reports were aired in early August including the results of his investigative reporting.

11: 03 - The indictment against the parent company of Al Jadeed and Khayyat is being read in court now.

11: 01 - Lawyer Karim Khan is the appointed representative and acting on behalf of the parent company New TV S.A.L.

10: 59 - Dimitri Khodr is legal representative of Al Jadeed TV. Karma al-Khayyat, the deputy head of news at Al Jadeed, is present in the courtroom.

10: 46 - Judge Lettieri says the allegations are not over criticism of the court, which is permitted by law.

10: 45 - Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri describes the timeline of the case and the charges against Al Akhbar and Al Jadeed. Both outlets are charged with contempt of court and willfully obstructing justice. The allegations are related to the two outlets publishing news reports including details of alleged secret witnesses in the case.

- STL hearing for journalists opens in The Hague





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