Leidschendam, 19 August 2011 – The Tribunal has established jurisdiction over three attacks relating to Marwan Hamadeh, George Hawi and Elias El-Murr. The Pre-Trial Judge has also ordered that the Lebanese authorities provide the relevant files to the Prosecutor.
On 30 June 2011, Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen received a request from the Office of the Prosecutor to determine whether or not these cases are connected to the attack of 14 February 2005. Judge Fransen ruled confidentially on 5 August that the Prosecutor had presented prima facie evidence that each of the three cases are connected, and are thus within the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
Judge Fransen has today issued three deferral orders requesting the Lebanese judiciary to comply within the next 14 working days. The Pre-Trial Judge authorises the Prosecution to share his confidential decision on the connected cases with the Lebanese authorities.
The decision on connectedness otherwise remains confidential so as not to compromise the investigation, and to protect the victims and potential witnesses.
According to the Tribunal's Statute, a case is connected to the 14 February 2005 attack if it is of a "similar nature and gravity" and has a number of elements in common with it, such as "the criminal intent (motive), purpose behind the attacks, the nature of the victims targeted, the pattern of the attacks (modus operandi) and the perpetrators." According to Article 1 of the Statute, the Tribunal has jurisdiction over attacks that occurred in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005 but only if their connectedness to the Hariri attack is determined by the Pre-Trial Judge.
While the Pre-Trial Judge's rulings do not mean that an indictment will necessarily be issued by the Prosecution, it allows them to continue investigating these cases. It is for the Prosecutor to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment in any of these three connected cases.
Deferral Order related to Marwan Hamadeh attack on 1 October 2004
Deferral Order related to George Hawi attack on 21 June 2005
Deferal Order related to Elias El-Murr attack on 12 July 2005