Terje Roed-Larsen in conversation after a special performance of "OSLO" hosted by IPI. (International Peace Institute/Wikipedia)
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A recent United Nations decision to bar its former envoy to Lebanon Terje Roed-Larsen from providing a statement at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon garnered attention, but legal experts say the move is not unexpected. Established in March 2009 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1757, the STL calls for cooperation with the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Local paper Al-Akhbar – affiliated with Hezbollah, which the four men being tried in absentia at the STL are reportedly members of – said the U.N. must have something to hide by preventing Roed-Larsen from making a statement. The interest in Roed-Larsen stems from meetings he held with Hariri and Syrian President Bashar Assad in the months before the Downtown Beirut bomb attack that killed Hariri and 21 others.However, legal experts revealed that the U.N.'s reasoning for not waiving Roed-Larsen's immunity is more complex.Based upon considerable experience at the U.N. legal office, the Columbia lecturer made clear that in general, the U.N. does waive immunity for personnel to testify in domestic cases.
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