Constitutional Expert Juraisati: Indictment Based on Assumptions Rather Than Direct Evidences
In a joint Press Conference with Head of Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Mohammad Raad, Constitutional Council Member Salim Juraisati took part in analyzing and conducting a "legal" study and discussion regarding the flaws of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment.
According to Juraisati, the legal study conducted aims at examining the indictment and its flaws, and
Legal expert Juraisati affirmed that the international law is not serving the best in this tribunal, recalling a saying for current President of the STL, Antonio Cassese, stating that the international law is full of flaws.
Going further to the details of the STL indictment into former Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, Juraisati stressed that had a tribunal decide to issue an indictment, its conditions should meet the highest international standards of the criminal code, including direct evidences.
On the level of evidences, Salim Juraisati stated that it's adopted internationally to perform on the level of "innocent" until proven guilty, through evidences to be provided by the General prosecutor who carries the burden of proof.
Furthermore, Juraisati stated that the STL General Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare issued the indictment after six years of establishing the tribunal, and launching its investigations.
HE added that Bellemare's indictment and the issuance of charges were based on the analysis of the circumstantial evidences; mainly telecoms network.
The Constitutional Council Member affirmed that Cassese embarrassed himself and the court in theorizing and defending the circumstantial evidence 15 months prior to the indictment issuance.
"Direct evidences can prove certain accusations, and that is why they're stronger than the circumstantial evidence", Salim Juraisati stated.
Deep in the indictment, Juraisati explained that the accusation is based on discrepancies that the defendants belong to Hizbullah or are just supporters of this party, without any materialistic evidence that one is directly involved.
"When there are evidences then we can talk about indictment", Juraisati noted.
Moreover, Juraisati indicated that before, Fransen affirmed that this report and the evidences are not enough to consider an indictment, however now the indictment is adopted not even in the presence of direct evidences that prove the said.
Juraisati strictly added that the indictment should be based upon evidences and true witnesses.
"The indictment contains no statements", Salim Juraisati added, in reference to the lack of clear evidences to back the indictment.
"There are two types of evidences; legal evidences and circumstantial evidences", he stated.
On the level of the media leaks which have been publishing an "expected" content of the indictment, Juraisati noted, "Bellemare proved the media leaks regarding the content of the indictment"
In this context, Juraisati reiterated that Bellemare depended on the circumstantial evidences more than the direct evidences.
"Bellemare claimed a principle which I am not familiar with; that the circumstantial evidences tend to be stronger than the direct evidences!" he further expressed surprise.
He went on to say, "Regarding the telecoms network, Bellemare stated that through investigating the telecoms evidences, they were capable of naming people involved in the assassination".
"Bellemare does not have any evidence but the telecoms evidence, which is not enough to base an indictment upon", he reaffirmed.
He stated that although Bellemare confirmed that the phone lines were operational under fake names, the STL used only the phones to depend on the place or location to identify the people or individuals indicted.
"Bellemare must have felt the importance of filling the gaps in the indictment", he stated, referring to the lack of evidence which Bellemare is aware of.
Salim Juraisati indicated that in the indictment, Bellemare stated that the indictees from Hizbullah are so-called terrorist are capable of conducting terrorist acts; and that's a "trait the indictment is based on".
"Daniel Bellemare assumed in his written indictment that it is "possible to conclude" or "indict" the people, without any direct evidence", Constitutional expert Juraisati confirmed.
On another level, Juraisati pointed out that "Bellemare took this "terrorist" trait from the US list that includes Hizbullah's name".
"What do the political stance or family ties and relations between the indictees have to do with accusing them without any direct evidences?" Juraisati wondered.
"Why didn't Bellemare listen to the testimony of the four indictees at the time when they became suspects?" Salim Juraisati added.
Through his study, Juraisati proved that all what has been mentioned in the indictment is clearly not based on "true reliable" evidences, but rather are "possible conclusions" that were based on circumstantial evidences.
"In a six year investigation, the STL should have reached credible evidences and accusations instead of assumptions", Juraisati finally stated.