The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Those die behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri announced that it would have to close after July if it cannot overcome a severe lack of funding.
“The Special Tribunal for Lebanon regrets to announce that it is facing an unprecedented financial crisis. Without immediate funding, the tribunal will not be able to work after July 2021,” it said today in an explanation.
The closure of the court would die And also dash the hopes of the families of the victims of the Hariri attack and other attacks die Hopes of those die demand that the UN tribunal die Those responsible for an explosion in the port of Beirut last August brought to justice that killed 200 people and injured 6,500.
Sentencing of a member of the Lebanese Hezbollah
Last year the Hariri Tribunal was based outside of The Hague in the Netherlands Salim Jamil Ayyash, a former member of the Lebanese Hezbollah group, charged with the bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others.
The court is also expected to hold a second trial against Ayyash, who in Preparing for Hariri’s assassination from 2004 to 2005 accused of another assassination attempt and attacks on Lebanese politicians.
Nidal Al-Jardi, the lawyer for the victims in the second case, told Reuters: “If you break off this court, you will have the perpetrators and those who die no justice want a free gift made. “
He added: “The cancellation of a new trial will not only harm the victims, die For 17 years die Announcement of the case have been waiting, but also die Undermining accountability for crimes in Lebanon in general “”
Lebanon contributes 49%
The court was established in 2007 by a resolution of the UN Security Council and started its work in 2009. Its budget last year was 55 million euros ($ 67 million), of which Lebanon pays 49% and donors and members of the United Nations pay the balance.
The 2021 budget was shrunk by around 40% resulting in layoffs of court clerks, however die Lebanese government is still not, according to United Nations documents in able to pay their share.
Warning .. and layoffs
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had extended the court’s mandate for a further two years from March, or until its pending proceedings were completed, whichever comes first, or until available funds were exhausted.
He warned in February that given the financial crisis in Lebanon, the government’s contribution was uncertain and that without additional funding, the special court may not be able to execute its mandate after the first quarter of 2021.
Guterres also requested from the United Nations General Assembly for around $ 25 million in 2021. The meeting approved $ 15.5 million in March.
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