By The Daily Star
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
BEIRUT: Over the next weeks all eyes will be on Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s pre-trial Judge Daniel Fransen who is expected to examine the indictment prepared by chief prosecutor Daniel Bellemare and handed over for review Monday.
The Belgian judge now has to accept or reject the indictment and rule whether the gathered evidence is sufficient to issue an arrest warrant.
So far Fransen has personally remained very tight-lipped about the tribunal’s operations but his decision in June 2010 to hold a public hearing in The Hague for former head of General Security Jamil al-Sayyed, made international headlines and stirred further intrigue.
Sayyed was jailed in 2005 in connection with Hariri assassination alongside three other pro-Syria generals. All four suspects were freed in 2009 citing lack of evidence, with Sayyed since mounting a campaign to gain access to his file in a bid to clear his name.
Following the rejection of appeals by Bellemare that the evidence not be disclosed, Fransen on Jan. 14 opened a public trial assessing whether Sayyed should gain access to the information and be allowed to view the testimony of so-called “false witnesses” who allegedly mislead investigators to arrest him. The inquest is ongoing with Sayyed accusing the S.T.L. and Fransen of dragging out the proceedings. – The Daily Star