Leidschendam, 28 October 2013 – The Pre-Trial Judge completed the transfer of the entire Ayyash et al. file, containing the evidence and all other documents that relate to the case. The Trial Chamber will now continue to prepare for the start of trial, which is scheduled tentatively for 13 January 2014.
The indictment against the four accused— Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra – was confirmed in June 2011.
STL judges decided in 2012 that the Tribunal can try the accused in their absence, which is permissible under Lebanese Law. The four accused remain at large, but the Lebanese authorities have an ongoing obligation to search for, arrest and transfer the accused to STL custody.
According to the Tribunal's rules, the Pre-Trial Judge is required to submit a complete file in order to allow the Trial Chamber to be seized of the case. A publicly redacted version of the confidential report accompanying the transfer of the case will be available in due course. It is now for the Trial Chamber to confirm a final date for the start of trial.
The transfer of the case file is a significant development in the proceedings of the Ayyash et al. case and it marks the start of the transition from the pre-trial to the trial phase. During trial, the Prosecution, Defence
Counsel and the Legal Representatives of the Victims will present their arguments before the judges of the Trial Chamber.
A public hearing will be held tomorrow, on 29 October, by the Trial Chamber judges to discuss matters related to the preparation of trial.