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UN Hariri tribunal seeks case documents from Lebanon

[JURIST] The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) [official website] has asked Lebanese authorities to turn over documents [order, PDF] related to the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], according to a court order released Wednesday. The STL, established under UN Security Council Resolution 1757 [text, PDF; JURIST report] to investigate and try suspects in Hariri's killing, said that Lebanese authorities should "defer to the Tribunal's competence in this case" by "hand[ing] over ... the results of the investigation and a copy of the court’s records" to the prosecutor. The STL also requested that "a list of all persons detained in connection with the Hariri case" be given to the pre-trial judge who would then determine whether those people should be freed, detained in Lebanon or transferred to STL at the Hague. Under the Resolution, the STL takes exclusive jurisdiction [Daily Star report] over the suspect once the request has been made, and Lebanese authorities have 14 days to comply with the request.

Last month, the STL's registrar Robin Vincent [official profile, PDF] said that it plans to ask the Lebanese government to transfer four generals [Daily Star report; JURIST report] being held on suspicion of involvement in Hariri's assassination to the court's custody. In March 2008, lead prosecutor Daniel Bellemare [Ya Libnan profile] said he believed a criminal network was behind the assassination [JURIST report]. The investigation into the assassination has been extended past its original anticipated end date and expanded [JURIST reports] to cover other assassinations in the country. Several reports from the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution; UN materials], also headed by Bellemare, have implicated Syrian officials [JURIST report] in Hariri's death.

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