Leidschendam, 10 October 2013 – The Pre-Trial Judge of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has confirmed an indictment against Hassan Habib Merhi who is accused of being involved in the 14 February 2005 Beirut attack.
The Lebanese authorities were given 30 calendar days to carry out this obligation and report back on their efforts by 5 September 2013.
On 6 September, the Lebanese Prosecutor General submitted his confidential report to the Tribunal's President, Judge Sir David Baragwanath, stating that so far the accused has not been found. Subsequently, the STL President requested additional measures be taken by the Lebanese authorities.
All of these steps have been confidential until now to allow the Lebanese authorities the best opportunity to apprehend the accused.
Under the current circumstances in Lebanon, the STL President has deemed the efforts by the Lebanese authorities to be sufficient to justify alternative means to search for the accused. As a result, the STL President has determined to initiate a 30-day public advertisement phase with the help of the Lebanese authorities to locate the accused as well as to inform him of the charges against him and of his rights, which are guaranteed under international law.
The STL President also calls on the Lebanese authorities to "reinvigorate and intensify their efforts to apprehend" the accused.
Lebanon has an ongoing obligation under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1757 to search for, arrest and transfer the accused to STL custody.
The STL Prosecution's case and charges against Mr Merhi are outlined in the publically redacted version of the indictment.
Four other individuals have been indicted by the STL for their alleged role in the 14 February 2005 attack: Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi, Assad Hassan Sabra. The Pre Trial judge has set tentatively 13 January 2014 as the first day of trial for these four accused.