Leidschendam, 24 July 2014 – The Contempt Judge has issued a decision that rules that the STL does not have jurisdiction to hear cases of obstruction of justice against legal persons (corporate entities). However, Judge Nicola Lettieri confirmed that under Rule 60 bis the Tribunal does have jurisdiction to hear cases for offences against the administration of justice against natural persons.
The Contempt Judge's decision comes after the Defence for NEW TV S.A.L. and Karma Mohamed Tahsin Al Khayat submitted a motion on 16 June 2014, challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to hear cases of contempt in relation to legal persons. The accused had not challenged the authority of the Tribunal to prosecute them for obstruction of justice, but pleaded not guilty on the merits.
A full written version of the decision in English, with headnotes in all the three official languages of the STL, may be found here. Full Arabic and French translations of the decision will be available on the Tribunal's website in due course.