STL President orders alternative service of the indictment against Salim Jamil Ayyash
Leidschendam, 24 September 2019 - The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Judge Ivana Hrdličková, has ordered today that the service of the indictment against Mr Salim Jamil Ayyash relating to the attacks against Mr Marwan Hamade, Mr Georges Hawi and Mr Elias El- Murr (Prosecutor v. Salim Jamil Ayyash, Case No. STL‑18‑10), be effected in an alternative manner, including through public advertisement.
This follows the President’s finding that reasonable attempts have been made by the Lebanese authorities to effect personal service on the accused in this case, and those efforts have been unsuccessful to date.
Specifically, Judge Ivana Hrdličková orders the STL Registrar to provide a form of public advertisement to the Lebanese authorities; and the Lebanese authorities to take all reasonable steps to provide notification to the public of the existence of the indictment and call upon Mr Ayyash to surrender to the Tribunal or in any case to submit to its jurisdiction. Additionally, the Registrar is ordered to consider other means of disseminating the indictment for this purpose, including in the media and social media. Both the Lebanese authorities and the Registrar are required to report back on the results of their efforts.
The Lebanese authorities have the continuing obligation to search for, serve, arrest and detain Mr. Ayyash, and to transfer him to the seat of the Tribunal.
If within 30 days from the start of the advertisement of the indictment the accused is not under the Tribunal’s authority, the Pre-Trial Judge shall ask the Trial Chamber to initiate proceedings in absentia.
The procedure for serving an indictment on an accused is specified in Rule 76 of the STL’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, titled “Service of Indictment”. The President’s order that was issued today is based on Rule 76 (E). The “procedures of public advertisement” referred to in Rule 76 (E) are further clarified in Rule 76 bis, titled “Advertisement of Indictment”. The relevant Rules are copied below.
Rule 76: Service of Indictment
(A) The indictment, certified in accordance with Rule 68, shall be formally provided to the authorities of the State in whose territory the accused resides or was last known to be residing, or in whose territory or under whose jurisdiction he is believed likely to be found, in order to serve the indictment on the accused without delay.
(B) Personal service of an indictment on the accused is effected by giving the accused a copy of the indictment, together with the summons to appear or the warrant of arrest.
(C) Notwithstanding Rules 20 and 21, Lebanon or a State which has agreed to provide cooperation with the Tribunal must inform the President of the measures taken in execution of paragraphs (A) and (B) as soon as possible and no later than 30 days following the request under paragraph (A).
(D) When a summons to appear, a warrant of arrest or a transfer order relates to a person living in, or under the control of, a State other than those referred to in paragraph (C), the Registrar, after consulting with the President, shall transmit a request for cooperation, to the appropriate authorities of the relevant State, in order to serve the summons to appear, the warrant of arrest or the transfer order to the accused without delay.
(E) Where the President establishes that reasonable attempts have been made to serve the indictment, the summons to appear or the warrant of arrest to the accused, but that they have failed, he may, after consulting the Pre-Trial Judge, order the service of process to be effected in an alternative manner, including procedures of public advertisement.
Rule 76 bis: Advertisement of Indictment
In keeping with the President’s order made under Rule 76 (E), a form of advertisement shall be transmitted by the Registrar to the authorities of any relevant State or entity for publication in newspapers and/or for broadcast via radio, television and/or other media, including the internet, providing notification to the public of the existence of an indictment and calling upon the accused to surrender to the Tribunal or in any case to submit to its jurisdiction. The advertisement shall invite any person with information as to the whereabouts of the accused to communicate that information to the Tribunal.