Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
09:40 PM Beirut time
18 °C
Blom Index
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
STL defense accuses U.S. of political interference
The four suspects, left to right, top to bottom: Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hussein Oneissi, Assad Sabra.
The four suspects, left to right, top to bottom: Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hussein Oneissi, Assad Sabra.
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Defense attorneys at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon accused the United States Thursday of political interference in the court’s work after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on defendant Mustafa Badreddine.

“The Defence questions the rationale behind the timing of the sanctions, which do not appear, in so far as they concern Mr. Badreddine, to be related to any alleged support on his part to the Assad regime,” Badreddine’s attorneys said in a statement.

“Rather, having been adopted a few weeks after a date was set for trial in March 2013, the imposition of sanctions appears to be an attempt to influence the Tribunal, prejudicing the minds of the judiciary against Mr. Badreddine in advance of his impending trial and thus interfering with the proper administration of justice.”

“It is notable that in the US Treasury release there is no reference to the fact that Mr. Badreddine is presumed innocent of the charges brought by the STL Prosecutor,” the statement added.

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah for allegedly providing support to the Syrian regime, as well as on Talal Hamiyah and Badreddine for supporting the party’s “terrorist activities in the Middle East and around the world.”

Badreddine, along with three other members of Hezbollah, was indicted by the U.N.-backed court in the 2005 attack that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The defense attorneys also said that Badreddine was not likely to receive a fair trial since the United States, which referred to Badreddine as a “senior terrorist leader,” provides funding to court.

In response to the defense statement, the court rejected the suggestion that the U.S. could influence judicial proceedings.

“It does not matter that the U.S. has branded him 'a senior terrorist leader.’ The only thing the judges make their decisions on is the evidence related to the attack on 14 February 2005,” STL spokesman Marten Youssef told The Daily Star.

“There are 26 countries on 5 continents that support the tribunal financially. That support for the STL is strictly financial and stops there; there is no room for interference in the judicial process,” he added.

The four accused by the STL remain at large and have had no contact with the attorneys appointed for them by the court.

A tentative start date for a trial in absentia has been set for next March.

Home Lebanon News

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Willow Osgood
STL prosecution backs defense request to postpone trial
STL defense pushes for trial delay, seeks more cooperation
A noisy electoral debate, but is anyone listening?
STL defense rebukes prosecution in pretrial brief
Does 2013 spell the return of the STL?

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS