Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issued a decision in which it reversed the Trial Chamber’s decision to continue the trial against Mr Mustafa Amine Badreddine in the Ayyash et al. case and ordered the Trial Chamber to terminate the proceedings against Mr Badreddine.
By majority, the Appeals Chamber found that there was sufficient evidence presented before the Trial Chamber to prove the death of Mr Badreddine.
At the beginning of last month, the Trial Chamber decided that the trial against Badreddine could continue pending the receipt of further information from the government of Lebanon regarding the death of the Accused Mustafa Amine Badreddine. The Trial Judges did not believe that sufficient evidence had been presented to convince them that the death of Mr Badreddine has been proved to the requisite standard.
The trial in the Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. case will proceed against the remaining four accused.
Mustafa Amine Badreddine
The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon decided on Wednesday 1 June that the trial in the Ayyash et al. case will continue pending the receipt of further information from the government of Lebanon regarding the death of the Accused Mustafa Amine Badreddine. In a press statement the STL explained that the Judges do not believe that sufficient evidence has yet been presented to convince them that the death of Mr Badreddine has been proved.
Badreddine is being tried in absentia for his alleged role in assassinating Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in 2005.
Media reported last month that the senior Hezbollah commander was killed in a major explosion at Damascus airport in Syria. Hezbollah confirmed Badreddine’s death and held a massive funeral attended by thousands of the party’s officials and supporters, including Badreddine’s brother. Badreddine’s family also declared the death of their relative.
However, the STL Trial Chamber noted that the Prosecution has outstanding requests for assistance sent to the government of Lebanon seeking further information relating to what happened to Mr Badreddine and is awaiting responses.
The standards for establishing the death of a defendant are high under international law. The International Criminal Court did not recognise Ghadafi’s passing until they had received a death certificate, despite a number of widely disseminated videos depicting his violent end at the hands of rebel forces.
Judge Micheline Braidy of the Trial Chamber described in a dissenting opinion that she was convinced that Mr Mustafa Amine Badreddine was indeed deceased.