Lebanon’s Special Tribunal to be located in former Dutch Intelligence HQ

Friday, December 21

An international court to try suspects in the 2005 murder of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will be based in the Dutch intelligence service's former headquarters, officials said Friday.

The municipality of Leidschendamm-Vorberg, in the suburbs of The Hague, said the decision to house the court in the building once used by the AIVD intelligence service had been taken by the cabinet.

Preparations, including alterations to the building, will begin next year, while the court will open in 2009 on a five-year lease.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had agreed in August to host the special court at the request of the United Nations, after some initial hesitation on security grounds.

The tribunal aims to try suspects in the assassination of Hariri, a popular five-time prime minister who was killed along with 22 others in a massive explosion on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005.

The tribunal will also have jurisdiction over other attacks against anti-Syrian Lebanese figures carried out between October 2004 and December 2005 if they are linked to the Hariri slaying.

UN investigators probing Hariri's murder have identified several people who may have been involved in the slaying, but no one has been charged.

The Hague is already dubbed the legal capital of the world, being the seat for several international tribunals such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court. 
The Special Court for Sierra Leone, which has its headquarters in Freetown, has also moved the trial of Liberian former president Charles Taylor to The Hague.

-AFP/NOW Staff

  • John F.

    Oh Oh, closer & closer & closer & closer & closer ya sami... hassan, and the march 8 th terrorrist organization are getting neurvous, their syrian bosses are going to be in trouble!!!

    December 22, 2007