| 11.11,11. 03:55 AM |
Bellemare Baffles Foes, Prevents Them from Acquiring Probe Details
Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare has managed to baffle the defense counsels by voicing his opinion that “it is premature to initiate a trial in absentia.”
Despite Bellemare’s office telling Naharnet that the prosecutor’s policy is based on refraining from discussing his strategy in the media and leaving everything to the courtroom, reliable information have suggested that the prosecutor does not want to rush the launching of in absentia trials as he fully knows the intentions of the defense counsels.
According to the aforementioned information, the defense counsels want in absentia proceedings to begin as soon as possible in order to examine the details of the probe, which is still ongoing although a first indictment has been released.
The rules of trials, whether in absentia or in the presence of defendants in court, obligate the prosecution to publicly debate the information in its possession.
Therefore, the first stage after the Trial Chamber okays the initiation of in absentia proceedings will require Bellemare to hand over to the defense counsels a large number of extremely significant documents, evidences and testimonies, while the prosecutor believes that it is still premature to disclose the aforementioned material so that those behind the assassinations do not benefit from their content and employ it to mislead the probe or evade the ever increasing encirclement.
Sources familiar with the work of STL’s organs told Naharnet that the defense counsels are overtly puzzled, especially the Lebanese counsels who were betting during the coordination meetings they held last week in Leidschendam that the initiation of in absentia trials would allow them to acquaint themselves with the full details of the indictment and with thousands of documents that could lead to exposing the course Bellemare is following in his ongoing investigations.