Lebanon – TLS under attack? The official reaction from Leidschendam

(Special Tribunal for Lebanon, October 27, 2010)

Violence will not Deter OTP Investigation

Leidschendam, 27 October 2010: On Wednesday morning, 27 October 2010, two investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and an STL interpreter attended a pre-arranged meeting at a doctor’s office in Beirut as a legitimate step in their ongoing investigation.

The process leading to the visit was handled professionally and in accordance with legal safeguards. The visit had been approved by the Lebanese authorities. The investigators were accompanied by members of the judicial police and the army. The doctor, having received approval from the Beirut Order of Physicians to meet with the OTP investigators, had agreed to the meeting.

The session with the doctor was conducted in a respectful manner. During the meeting, a large group of people showed up unexpectedly and violently attacked the investigators and their female interpreter. Several items belonging to OTP staff were stolen during the attack.

The Lebanese army extracted the three staff members and brought them back safely to the STL Beirut Office where they were provided with medical attention.

The Office of the Prosecutor takes this incident very seriously and is currently gathering the facts. The Lebanese authorities have launched an investigation.

The Office of the Prosecutor denounces the use of violence. The investigation into the Hariri attack will continue and this incident will not deter the OTP from pursuing its mission.