This TV grab shows Journalist Ibrahim al-Amin speaking during contempt hearing, Thursday, May 29, 2014. (The Daily Star/TV grab)
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In a show of defiance, Al-Akhbar newspaper's Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Amin walked out of a contempt hearing at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Thursday, after delivering a tirade accusing the court of "oppression" and denouncing the U.N. Security Council that brought it into existence.Sporting a pin bearing the portrait of slain Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, Amin dramatically withdrew from a controversial hearing meant to formally charge him with contempt and obstruction of justice for publishing secret details about witnesses who were allegedly set to testify on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The court argues that Al-Akhbar's reports endanger the lives of the individuals, whether or not they were witnesses, and are intended to intimidate potential witnesses and undermine public confidence in the STL.Judge Lettieri said at the start of the hearing that the accusations were not motivated by the newspaper's criticism of the tribunal. Judge Lettieri then interrupted Amin, saying that the journalist had chosen to appear of his own accord, adding that the crimes he spoke of were not within the tribunal's jurisdiction, prompting his withdrawal.Amin had appeared without a defense lawyer. In an interview with Al-Jadeed, Amin said he would not appear again before the court unless he received a public apology from Judge Lettieri.
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