File - Journalist Ibrahim al-Amine attends a ceremony in Beirut, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Elias Aoun, President of the Order of Lebanese Press Editors, appeared before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Friday, criticizing the court's prosecution of journalists but offering only a tepid defense of the actions of Al-Akhbar Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Amin.Prosecutors contend Amin published the list in order to intimidate witnesses and undermine public confidence in the court.Aoun repeatedly made it clear he found the prosecution of Lebanese journalists by an international court troubling.It became clear increasingly under cross-examination that Aoun had little interest in addressing the specific charges against Al-Akhbar. He repeatedly ignored direct queries from prosecutors and Judge Nicola Lettieri, who noted for the record that he had refused to answer. Aoun often spoke over amicus prosecutor Kenneth Scott, who pressed him on the protections provided to witnesses by the Lebanese penal code. Aoun contended that there was no evidence of witness intimidation, and promptly accepted the invitation to criticize the tribunal.When pressed, Aoun confessed he did not know if the information had come from the court.The defense concluded its case with Aoun's testimony.
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