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 28, 2014

Naharnet - STL Pre-trial Conference in Contempt Case against Al Jadeed, Karma Khayat Set for November 3, October 28, 2014

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Contempt Judge Nicola Lettieri scheduled a pre-trial conference in the case against Al Jadeed S.A.L./NEW T.V. S.A.L. and Karma Mohamed Tahsin al-Khayat for November 3, announced the tribunal in a statement on Tuesday.

The Amicus Curiae Prosecutor submitted his views on the start of trial on October 23, arguing that he needs at least four to five weeks to prepare for trial including arranging the appearance of witnesses.

The Amicus said that it would not be fair, nor efficient, to have an extended time between the end of the Amicus’ case and the start of the Defense case.

On October 23, the counsel for Al Jadeed S.A.L./ NEW T.V. S.A.L. and al-Khayat argued that starting trial before February 2015 would undermine the fair trial rights of the Accused.

The Defense believes starting trial in April 2015 would best ensure a stable and predictable timeframe for trial preparations for the Contempt Judge and the parties.

According to Rule 127, at a pre-trial conference the Contempt Judge may give directions related to the trial, including determining the number of witnesses and the time available for the presentation of evidence.

Khayat and al-Akhbar daily's editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin and their media organizations New TV S.A.L. and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. had been charged with contempt by the tribunal after they disclosed details of alleged STL witnesses.

The initial hearing in the contempt case was held on May 13 at the STL's headquarters in The Hague, amid the absence of al-Amin who later appeared before the court via video conference.

Al-Jadeed TV Director General Dimitry Khodr and Khayat entered pleas of not guilty during that hearing.

The STL has indicted five Hizbullah members for involvement in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's Feb. 2005 assassination.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah dismissed the court as a U.S.-Israeli scheme against his group and vowed that the accused will never be found.

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