| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Letter from Lead Legal Representative of Victims to Security Council to ensure continuity of STL proceedings in Georges Hawi’s assassination case

On 10 June 2021, the Lead Legal Representative of the participating victims in Case STL-18-10 (attack against Mr Georges Hawi) Dr Antonios ABOU KASM, sent a letter to the President of the Security Council in which he requested his support in ensuring that the Tribunal is sufficiently financed so the proceedings are able to resume expeditiously in order to bring justice to the victims through a judgment that will be as a moral reparation for them.

The Legal Representative of the Victims submitted that the termination of proceedings at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a violation not only on the rights of the victims who have been denied justice for more than fifteen years, but such termination would also convey the message that the international community is unwilling to stand against terrorism and to support the international criminal justice to end impunity which creates a situation that is likely endangering the international peace and security.

Furthermore, the Lead Counsel stated that the termination of proceedings will deprive the victims of their access to justice, knowing that the transfer of the case file to the Lebanese authorities seems practically impossible due to the nature of the case especially that it holds a large number of sensitive information and documents and evidence materials that are difficult to store and protect, in addition to the incapacity of the Lebanese judicial to undertake trials for such a terrorist attack in the current Lebanese political, economic and judicial context.

Therefore, the Legal Representative of Victims requested the President of the Security Council to take immediate action and:

  • Include the issue of the funding of the Tribunal in the Security Council agenda.
  • Urge the Members of the Security Council and the Secretary-General to seek alternate means of financing the Tribunal, pursuant to Article 5(2) of the Agreement.
  • Decide that the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon shall be financed in total or in part by the budget of the General Assembly or United Nations.
  • Urge and call for the international community to provide financial support to the Tribunal.
  • Absolve, exceptionally, the Lebanese Republic to fulfil its financial obligations according to Article 5(1)(b) of the Agreement.

In this letter, the Lead Counsel request was based on the Charter of the United Nations, the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council, the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, the appropriate Resolutions of the Security Council, international criminal case law, and the means of financing that was adopted by the UN to fund other international criminal courts or internationalized criminal tribunals.

  • NNA