Sayyed: Bellemare Making Fun of Half of Lebanese Population
23/12/2010 Former General Security chief Major General Jamil Sayyed criticized on Thursday Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare’s recent statements over the tribunal, saying that Bellemare is simplifying matters and is making fun of more than half the Lebanese population and the majority of the Arab and international public that believe that international justice is politicized.
In a statement released by his press office, Sayyed wondered what would prevent the STL from being politicized the same way the international investigation commission was. “The international investigation is similar to the international tribunal as they have both been formed by the UN Security Council and where they both include international and Lebanese judges.”
Concerning Bellemare’s labeling of false witnesses as “unreliable witnesses”, the former General Security chief said that such wordplay will not alter the truth or the results that Bellemare knows too well and which is that those false witnesses were a product of a Lebanese and international conspiracy that wasted four years of the investigation and led Lebanon to the brink of a civil war.
23/12/2010 “I will not bring an indictment to the Pre-Trial Judge unless I’m morally convinced and unless I feel that there is at least a reasonable prospect for conviction of the person, so that’s the kind of the framework within which I operate,” Special Tribunal for Lebanon Danielle Bellemare announced.
In a video titled “What is the role of the Prosecutor,” which seemed to engage into the political debate over the so-called ‘independent’ tribunal, Bellemare rejected the political aspect of his court as ‘groundless’. “The fact that this institution was created by a political body or the fact that we operate in a highly politicized environment does not mean that we are politicized,” he clarified.
The STL Prosecutor said that he has a very heavy responsibility to make sure that whatever charges he brings to the Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen for confirmation is fully supported by the evidence. “The evidence that I need to use is the ‘prima facie’ evidence – that u have some evidence that the person you charge has committed the crime.”
Tackling the issue of the “false witnesses,” Bellemare admitted that he has never used the expression ‘false witnesses’, adding that he favors to use the expression unreliable witness. “It is important to clarify that the indictment, once it is sent to Pre-Trial Judge for confirmation, will be based on credible evidence,” he pointed out. He stressed that if witnesses appear to be unreliable, the Office of the Prosecutor “will not rely on their testimony.”
As to what kind of evidence the prosecutor can use to prove his case, Bellemare said that he’s looking at evidence that is admissible. “We’re looking at all types of evidence, whether it is a documentary evidence, whether it is witness statements or witness testimonies, or whether it is forensic evidence.”
“So everything goes, as long as it is admissible, because I want to put together a case that is as solid as possible, keeping in mind that at trial I have to discharge a very high burden of proving the culpability of the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” Bellemare added.
The STL Prosecutor highlighted the importance of “independence and professionalism” in the work of the Office of the Prosecutor, the judges and other STL employees. “I stressed earlier what it meant to be independent – that I don’t take any instruction from anyone; however, if I allowed myself to be influenced by politics or if I allowed myself to follow instructions given to me by a government or by anybody else, then I would be politicized,” he added. “But given the fact that I take my decisions in complete independence, and that these decisions are based only on the evidence – the evidence is my only guide – then I think that those allegations of politicization are groundless.”
Bellemare said that such claims are made by “people who may fear the outcome of the tribunal’s decision or of the tribunal’s effort to uncover the truth.”
MP Nkoula: Leaks of Indictment Content Confirms STL Politicization
Jumblatt to As-Safir: Indictment Proven to be Politicized, Threatening to Lebanon
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian