On 11 October 2013, the Defence for Mr. Sabra filed its “Sabra Defence Motion for Stay of Proceedings Due to Lebanon’s Failure to Cooperate With the Defence” before the Pre-Trial Judge at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The Defence submitted that the Lebanese authorities had systematically failed to effectively cooperate with the Defence, thereby seriously prejudicing the Defence’s investigations and ability to prepare. It stated that, despite sending numerous requests for assistance over a period of eighteen months, the Lebanese authorities routinely (i) ignored the requests either outright or in part; (ii) employed delay tactics by requiring the Defence to redirect the request to another department or denying competence to deal with the request outright; (iii) indicated that it would respond, but then failed to do so; or (iv) issued a blanket response that the information has been transferred by the Lebanese judicial authorities to the Special Tribunal Lebanon on 7 April 2009. Each of the identified requests relates to materials of apparent exculpatory value, going to the heart of Mr. Sabra’s alleged guilt in the commission of these crimes.
Given the fact that the Defence had exhausted all available remedies and in light of the imminent commencement of trial proceedings on 13 January 2014, the Defence sought a conditional stay of proceedings to remedy the prejudice caused to the Defence; to instil fairness into the proceedings and to establish full and complete cooperation of the Lebanese authorities with the Defence.
For further detail regarding Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al, see here.