Judge Fransen orders STL to release documents to Sayyed


Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Pre-trial Judge Daniel Fransen has ordered the STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare to release more than 270 documents to former General Security chief Jamil as-Sayyed, according to press release published on STL’s website on Thursday.

Judge Fransen ruled that Sayyed would receive some of the documents in Bellemare’s possession “very soon,” the statement said, adding that “a large majority of these [documents] will be disclosed to Sayyed, while others can only be inspected by his counsel.”

According to the statement, Fransen ruled that the documents can only be used for ‘legitimate purposes.’ “The use of these documents must respect the presumption of innocence, the right of the defense and the right to privacy of third parties,” the statement added.

“Fransen has ordered [Bellemare] to file a report by June 13th that explains how [the latter] has completed the obligations required in this decision,” the STL’s statement also said.

“This is an ongoing process. If [Bellemare] finds new documents during his investigation he may be required to disclose them.”The Pre-Trial Judge has also ordered the Prosecutor to review some additional documents, which may be released to Mr El Sayed in the future.

Sayyed, (along with 3 other generals) was detained from 2005 to 2009 on suspicion of involvement in former PM Hariri’s murder. In April 2009, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL ) ordered their release without charges due to insufficient evidence. STL prosecutor made it clear at the time they were set free that their release did not mean they are Innocent and that once more evidence is available they could be back in jail.

Sayed has claimed that he was wrongly detained by the Lebanese authorities on the basis of libelous denunciations. He has requested documents related to this claim. Mr El Sayed asked the STL for access to this evidence so that he can pursue civil claims in national courts.