The United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which was set up to prosecute suspects behind the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has run out of funding, Reuters wrote in an exclusive report on Tuesday.
Impacted by the political and economic crises in Lebanon, the STL may have to close, dashing hopes for future trials and investigations.
Families of victims of the 2005 Hariri murder and other attacks are still waiting for justice and Lebanese are also demanding that the tribunal prosecute those responsible for the Beirut port explosion, Reuters indicated.
In 2020, the STL convicted Hezbollah operative Salim Ayyash for his role in the attack on Hariri which also killed 21 others. Now, a second trial against Ayyash for other attacks on Lebanese politicians between 2004 and 2005 may never see the light.
“If you abort the tribunal, if you abort this case, you are giving a free gift to the perpetrators and to those who do not want justice to take place,” lawyer Nidal Jurdi said, speaking to Reuters, adding that it would be “a disappointment for the victims of the connected cases and the victims of Lebanon.”
Back in February, the president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Judge Ivana HrdliČková, asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year extension in order to “significantly advance its work toward completion,” revealing that it cannot be completed by February 28th as mandated.