25-05-2020 07:44 AM Jerusalem Timing

Minimum Justice Standards Absent from STL Performance: MP Raad

Minimum Justice Standards Absent from STL Performance: MP Raad

Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Mohammad Raad held a press conference along with lawyer Salim Jreissati, and presented the legal and judicial refutation of the STL indictment.

Head of Loyalty to the Resistance Parliamentary Bloc MP Mohammad Raad held a press conference on Tuesday in which he assured that the International tribunal did not rely on the slightest standards of justice in its work and judgment, considering that the indictment it released regarding the suspects in the assassination of PM Rafiq Hariri was more of a political decision dictated by the American-Israeli interests.

“This is a tribunal that drafted a decision without showing any concern to the Lebanese people’s interests, and disregarded in its investigations any sort of privacy… it completely crossed its limits and relied on insufficient circumstantial evidences… such a tribunal is not expected to implement justice. Even more, it is not surprising if this tribunal is considered a bridge for international intervention in Lebanon,” MP Raad started his press conference saying.

 “Today, after the indictment was issued, and considering the void scenario it included and the overlapping circumstantial fabrications regarding the events that it presented, we don’t need to make efforts to assert that the tribunal’s claims are politicized.”

MP Raad pointed out that the indictment did not mention any direct evidence beside the synchronism of phone calls, which is also a point that could be impugned. He stressed that judge Danielle Bellemare’s intention to target Hezbollah and even its allies was clear in the draft indictment, as “even when he accused individuals, he did not mention them individually, but rather stated that they are ‘supporters’ or ‘members’ of Hezbollah, which reveals his hidden intention to extort the party later during trial.” 

Loyalty to the Resistance bloc explained this, reassuring that “the resistance will defend itself, and its experience has revealed that it was capable of dealing with such traps set by its enemies. It will not submit to the enemies’ desires, and with its firmness and patriotic will, it will defeat the goals that the conspirators have drawn for it.”

MP Raad clarified these points, leaving the speech for lawyer Salim Jreissati, so that he legally and judicially rebuts the indictment.

After pointing out his basic objection to the international tribunal’s form of establishment from the first place, Lawyer Salim Jreissati reminded that STL President Antonio Cassizi was the first to say that “the international law is full of gaps”.

Jreissati said that “the direct evidence is the one that is able to confirm a certain proof. It is stronger than the circumstantial evidence that usually relies on a certain assumption, and builds other assumptions accordingly. Such a procedure would transform a numeral item into an indictment in an individual assassination crime, without relying on any certain evidence.”

In the same context, Jreissati said that this tribunal was experiencing, for the first time, its type of investigations in such a country, and so, Lebanon has become more like a field for international experiments. He indicated that assessing circumstantial evidence in Lebanon could not be according to the international criminal law but rather to the Lebanese law that is more applicable in such a case.

He explained that the Lebanese law that should be followed stated that the evidence of conviction should be a decisive one.

On the other hand, the Lebanese lawyer reassured that Bellemare completely neglected the Israeli violation of the telecom network in Lebanon, even though it was confirmed by the Lebanese judiciary and condemned by the International Communication Bureau.

Jreissati further explained that Bellemare has stated that “the four accused are supporters of Hezbollah, and the military wing of Hezbollah has engaged in terrorist operations in the past,” and so, he assumed that “it is possible to conclude that the accused could have committed the crime.”

The lawyer asked: “What did Bellemare rely on before using the term “terrorist”, knowing that there is no common definition to this concept? Who believes that Hezbollah has executed terrorist operations? How does affiliating with the party and drilling make them accused of the assassination?”