The head of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)’s Defense Office François Roux said in an interview with An-Nahar newspaper that “the tribunal’s indictment is just the beginning.”
Roux said that no one knows when the indictment will be issued or who will be indicted.
Roux said the Defense Office is to “protect the rights of the defense, provide support and assistance to defense counsel and to the persons entitled to legal assistance, including, where appropriate, legal research, collection of evidence and advice, and appearing before the Pre-Trial Judge or a Chamber in respect of specific issues.”
Roux also said that he and Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar – who is representing the Lebanese cabinet – finalized this week a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
He said that the tribunal’s Defense Office will collaborate with the relevant Lebanese authorities if it needed assistance, adding that the Defense Office’s work will begin after the STL issues its pending indictment.
“The procedure is legal, not political,” Roux said.
He also said that his office has recruited about 85 attorneys – including five Lebanese – who can be tasked with defending those who will be indicted.
“Every defendant may choose a lawyer,” he said.
STL Prosecutor General Daniel Bellemare said earlier this week during an interview with Now Lebanon he has not yet drafted the indictment adding that he will make sure that the evidence he will produce is admissible in court.
STL was created by the UN security council to try the killers of lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri and the related crimes
François Roux is a French lawyer who has been practicing criminal law for over 36 years. He spent many years at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where he represented four accused persons and obtained one verdict of not guilty. He was also a member of the defense team for Zacarias Moussaoui who was implicated in the September 11th attacks in New York.
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