14 February 2008 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has established a Management Committee of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon being set up to try those responsible for political killings, particularly the February 2005 car bombing in Beirut that killed the former prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.
“The Secretary-General believes that this step, along with other steps announced in December of last year – the selection of the judges, the appointment of the Prosecutor, the finalization of a headquarters agreement with the Government of the Netherlands enabling the Tribunal to be based in that country, and agreement on a building near The Hague to house the Tribunal – are decisive landmarks in the process of making the Special Tribunal a reality,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.
The Committee, which will among other tasks provide advice and policy direction on all non-judicial aspects of the operations of the Special Tribunal and review and approve its annual budget, is composed of the body's main donors, according to the statement.
The spokesperson also announced that expected contributions to the Special Tribunal will meet the budgetary requirements for its establishment and the first twelve months of operations.
“This will assist greatly in the effort by the Secretariat to establish the Special Tribunal in a timely manner as requested by the Security Council in resolution 1757 (2007),” the spokesperson said.
“This development, as well as the others previously set out, confirms the Secretary-General's belief in the irreversibility of the establishment of the Tribunal.”
In April 2005 the Security Council set up the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon's own inquiry into the Hariri assassination was seriously flawed and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack. Mr. Hariri died in a massive car bombing in Beirut in February 2005 that also took the lives of 22 others.
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