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1 February 2012

In absentia proceedings

Leidschendam, 1 February 2012 - The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has decided to try the four men accused of the 14 Feb 2005 attack in their absence.

The Trial Chamber examined numerous documents from the Tribunal's Prosecutor and the Lebanese Prosecutor-General, which detail the steps taken by the Lebanese authorities to apprehend the accused and inform them about the proceedings.

These efforts included multiple attempts by the Lebanese authorities to find the accused at their last known residences, places of employment, family homes and other locations. The Trial Chamber also took into consideration the fact that the indictment and the identities of the accused received massive publicity in Lebanon.

The Trial Chamber concluded that all reasonable steps have been taken to secure the appearance of the accused and to notify them of the charges against them.

While the STL is the only international Tribunal that can prosecute accused in their absence, it is a measure of last resort to ensure that the pursuit of justice is not paralysed by those who choose to abscond.

For further details on the upcoming steps, please see the media advisory on the upcoming steps.