The Special Tribunal for Lebanon will start laying off employees in a few days, Lebanon24 reported on Tuesday.
The STL, which is facing financial difficulties as a result of Lebanon’s crippling economic crisis, will reportedly start informing staff members, including Lebanese, of its decision to cease operation this weekend.
The decision is a direct outcome of the withholding of the STL‘s funding by Lebanon and other countries, which is threatening the Tribunal’s continuity.
Opened in 2009 to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the STL revealed in May that it had run out of funding.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been informed of the Tribunal’s financial problems, and judges and staff have since been instructed to take measures related to preserving court records and the protection of witnesses.
Lebanon, which is facing an unprecedented economic meltdown, is supposed to cover 49% of the Tribunal’s funding, while other countries cover the remaining 51%.
The STL‘s potential closure has shrunk hopes of justice for the murder of Rafik Hariri and the other victims of the 2005 Beirut bomb attack.