The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: why it matters to the people

Nayla Tueni
Nayla Tueni
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This week marks the start of trials of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) which is investigating the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other related murders. Many have spoken out against the tribunal, stole information from its employees, and recruited hundreds of agents including lawyers to harm the basis on which the tribunal was established and doubt its credibility.

Today, opponents of the trial are once again trying to postpone the trial as long as they can. They are not doing so because it's their hobby but because they realize very well that the tribunal - even if it takes months or years - will expose many issues linked to regimes, parties, officials and individuals. What matters is achieving justice even if there's a delay. This is better than not achieving it at all. This is what we hope from an international apparatus free of Lebanese restraints and threats like those targeting the Lebanese judiciary and preventing it from properly carrying out its work.

Today, opponents of the trial are once again trying to postpone the trial as long as they can. What matters is achieving justice even if there's a delay.

Nayla Tueni

By cheering for the STL, we don't aim to avenge other Lebanese people with who we share the country with. We cheer for every limitation that prevents crime, whose ending wasn't possible and which lasted for thirty years, resulting in the death of prominent statesmen. This murderous hand persists to this very day. Its most recent victim was former minister Mohammad Chatah. Assassinating him aimed to deliver many messages to the Lebanese people and to regional and international parties - and perhaps to the STL itself as well.

Telling evidence

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and STL Prosecutor Norman Farrell spoke with Lebanon's Annahar newspaper yesterday and confirmed that the start of the trials is an important step and that new evidence will emerge.


Farrell said: "New (evidence) will be brought forward during the trial. You will listen to this evidence during the (start) of trial. You will also hear details which show that telecommunications evidence (we have) is not (based) on coincidence."

"There are repeated actions, specified patterns and permanent monitoring from the same position. This monitoring was carried out by the same (group) of people using the same phones, and (their activity) lasted for the duration of 50 days and targeted Hariri. If (you) have doubts regarding this telecommunications (evidence), I think that during the trial, everyone will find out that (these doubts) are untrue (particularly) if we observe the nature of this evidence and its depth," he added.

This is some of what has been said. We wait for more and look forward to hear the truth - which some mockingly say we will never get to attain. To those we say: "What matters is that we protect our children and their future in this country called Lebanon which we paid high prices to maintain and which we will not abandon today

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Jan. 13, 2014.


Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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