Today, Friday, Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab warned of the “very serious consequences” of suspending the work of the International Tribunal for Lebanon, and appealed to the United Nations to find alternative ways to finance the tribunal after declaring that it was “facing an unprecedented financial crisis.”
Diab sent a message to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and published by the official Lebanese news agency, in which he said that the suspension of the work of the International Tribunal “has very serious consequences, and its repercussions will not be limited only to Lebanon and the victims of the barbaric attack,” in reference to the assassination of the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, who The court was established to investigate him.
Diab expressed his firm belief that financial difficulties should not hinder the completion of the tribunal’s work until the end, adding, “The government of Lebanon will be grateful to your Excellency to explore various and alternative means of financing the tribunal, urgently with the Security Council and UN member states, to help it accomplish its mission.”
He considered that the “most painful consequences” of the court’s suspension “lay in the reflection of a fragmented and incomplete justice for all those who demand justice and those who trust in the rule of law and the prevention of evasion of justice.”
This comes a day after Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, announced during a press conference the suspension of all work of the International Tribunal for Lebanon until further notice, due to a “severe financial crisis”.
The court announced on Wednesday that “without immediate funding, it will not be able to continue its work after next July,” at a time when the World Bank ranked Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis among the 10 most severe crises, and perhaps among the three worst in the world, since the mid-nineteenth century. .
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international criminal, proposed and approved by the UN Security Council in 2009, to investigate and try those accused of the assassination of Rafik Hariri and 21 others, on February 14, 2005.
On August 18, the court convicted in absentia Salim Ayyash, a member of Hezbollah, of participating in the Hariri assassination.
The next session of the trial, which was canceled in the so-called Ayyash case, was scheduled to examine the annexes of 3 other crimes believed to be related to the assassination of Hariri, namely the assassination of the former Secretary-General of the Communist Party George Hawi on June 21, 2005, and two assassination attempts on each of the former minister. Marwan Hamadeh in early October 2004, and former Defense Minister Elias Murr on 12 July 2005.
Representatives of the families of 3 victims who died in the aforementioned attacks held a press conference at the headquarters of the Beirut Press Syndicate, during which they appealed to the international community to intervene to provide funding for the court, and considered that the international court’s cessation of consideration of Ayyash’s case is “a second assassination for us and our martyrs… and a blow to our hopes for justice.”