BEIRUT

Lebanon News

New Al Akhbar hearing at STL set for May 29

Al-Akhbar's editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin watches the hearing from the Press Federation in Beirut, Tuedsay, May 13, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

- Amin: Preliminary assessment is that two weeks of preparation is not enough time to appoint defense lawyers.

- Ibrahim al Amin tells Al Jadeed after the hearing that he will only attend May 29 hearing if concerns and procedures to guarantee justice are implemented by the court. He expressed his respect for the "mechanism" of the hearing and thanked the defense office for its understanding of the sensitivity of the issue and the right of free speech.

- Judge Lettieri orders new hearing for Al Akhbar and Ibrahim al Amin on May 29.

- Roux: Al Akhbar's request for a delay in the hearing is "reasonable."

- Roux: Since Amin is searching for defense lawyers I do not have the authority to assign a lawyer for him.

- Defense office head Francois Roux says the case is extremely sensitive because of the press's important role in a democracy. He expressed the need to provide the necessary time for the accused to prepare for the case and to discuss it with his lawyers.

- Judge Lettieri says the goal of the initial hearing is not to begin trial but to formally pose the charges to the accused. While he said he understood Amin's need for a "reasonable defense situation" he is concerned about the inability of Al-Akhbar to appoint a lawyer, explaining that the STL can assist with the appointments.

- STL deputy registrar Amelie Zinzius provides a timeline of the exchange of letters and emails with Amin on the case.

- Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri reads out a letter from Al Akhbar editor in chief Ibrahim al-Amin in which he requests a realistic delay in the initial hearing after the "haphazard" assistance by the defence office on appointing a lawyer. Amin said the case poses a danger to his safety and the inability to pick a lawyer is not related to financial issues but to the sensitivity of the case.

- STL begins Al-Akhbar hearing

 

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Summary

- Roux: Al Akhbar's request for a delay in the hearing is "reasonable".

- Judge Lettieri says the goal of the initial hearing is not to begin trial but to formally pose the charges to the accused. While he said he understood Amin's need for a "reasonable defense situation" he is concerned about the inability of Al-Akhbar to appoint a lawyer, explaining that the STL can assist with the appointments.

- Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri reads out a letter from Al Akhbar editor in chief Ibrahim al-Amin in which he requests a realistic delay in the initial hearing after the "haphazard" assistance by the defence office on appointing a lawyer.


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