The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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October 27, 2011

Daily Star - STL appoints 2 lawyers to represent each of indicted men, October 27, 2011

BEIRUT: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Wednesday it has appointed two lawyers to represent each of the four at-large Hezbollah members indicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
“The head of defense office assigned a primary duty counsel and a co-counsel to each of the accused, pursuant to the trial chamber’s scheduling order of Oct. 20, 2011,” a statement issued by the STL said:
“The purpose of these assignments is to ensure that the rights and interests of the accused are individually protected while the trial chamber considers whether to initiate in absentia proceedings,” the statement added.
The Netherlands-based court said the assignment of a duty counsel for Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra, the four indicted members, was “temporary.”
Lead counsel Eugene O’Sullivan, a Canadian national admitted to the Law Society of British Columbia; and as co-counsel Emile Aoun, a Lebanese national admitted to the Beirut Bar, were selected to represent Ayyash.
Lead counsel Antoine Korkmaz, a Lebanese and French national admitted to the Paris Bar; and as co-counsel John Jones a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, were selected to represent Badreddine.
Lead counsel Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, a French national admitted to the Paris Bar, and as co-counsel Yasser Hassan, an Egyptian national admitted to the Egyptian Bar, were selected to represent Oneissi.
Lead counsel David Young, a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, and as co-counsel Dr. Guénaël Mettraux, a Swiss national practicing before the International Criminal Court and the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, were selected to represent Sabra.
The court said the selection of the lead counsels was done by the defense office, with no involvement from any of the four accused. The co-counsels were appointed in consultation with the lead counsel.
Should the trial chamber decide to initiate in absentia trials, the defense office would be requested to assign a defense counsel for the remainder of the proceedings, the STL said.
Duty counsel is likely to be withdrawn in case the trial chamber decided not to launch in absentia trials. The same thing is applied if the accused decided to show up at the trial.
STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare in June issued a sealed indictment against Ayyash, Badreddine, Oneissi and Sabra. Hezbollah denies involvement in the assassination of Hariri and says the four men are not guilty of the charges.
Under the STL’s statute, in absentia trials can be organized if accused individuals fail to hand themselves over to authorities or prove elusive. None of the four have so far been apprehended by security forces.
The tribunal has divided Lebanon’s political scene and the ongoing debate over Beirut’s 2011 funding to the court continues to drag. Lebanon could face U.N. sanctions if, as expected, the Cabinet fails to agree on financial assistance to the STL before a looming deadline.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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