Norman Farrell Appointed New Prosecutor for UN-Backed Tribunal for Lebanon

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A veteran Canadian prosecutor Norman Farrell today has been appointed as the prosecutor of the United Nations-backed independent tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Farrell is former Crown lawyer in Ontario. He joined the office of the International Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia in 1999.

Before joining the tribunal, Norman Farrell worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Norman Farrell who replaces Daniel Bellemare, whose three year mandate with Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) ended Wednesday.

Mr. Ban expresses his gratitude to Mr. Bellemare for his leadership in advancing the work of the Special Tribunal.

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Ministry of the Interior soldier guarding the site of the attack that killed Hariri.

Mr. Ban also appointed Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko of Uganda as an international judge of the appeals chamber of the special tribunal. Mr. Nsereko is currently a judge in the appeals division of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Nsereko replaces the late Italian Judge Antonio Cassese.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon extended the special tribunal’s mandate for three years.

He replaces the late Antonio Cassese, who was also a former president of the STL.

Earlier this week, the Secretary-General once again reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth regarding the terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.

The STL is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the Security Council.

Mr. Hariri and the 22 others were killed on 14 February 2005 after a massive car bomb exploded as his motorcade passed through central Beirut.

Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra, all Lebanese nationals, have been indicted over the killing. They will be tried in absentia after the STL determined earlier this month that all reasonable attempts had been made to inform the four men of the charges they face and to bring them before the court.

The tribunal was set up following a probe by the International Independent Investigation Commission after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon’s own inquiry into the massive car bombing that killed Mr. Hariri and the others was seriously flawed, and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack.

Lebanon’s previous government, led by Mr. Hariri’s son, Saad, collapsed in January 2011 after 11 Hizbollah and allied ministers resigned, reportedly over the Government’s refusal to cease cooperation with the tribunal, which the media says was about to indict Hizbollah members for the murders.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.