STL registrar refuses to disclose Nashabe risk probe

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The registrar for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon refused Tuesday to provide the judge with a risk assessment of Omar Nashabe after reversing his appointment to the tribunal’s defense office over 'security concerns.'

Nashabe, the director of Al-Akhbar’s research unit and a criminal justice specialist, was appointed to the tribunal’s defense office in May, but had his contract terminated only days later by the registrar, Herman von Hebel.

At the time, von Hebel claimed that a security assessment found Nashabe to be “a high threat to the Tribunal.”

And on Monday von Hebel told the president of the tribunal, Judge David Baragwanath, that he would comply with his request for a copy of the risk assessment during a closed door hearing.

But in an official filing addressed to the judge on Tuesday, von Hebel wrote that he “hereby notifies the President and the Head of the Defense Office that he has decided not to provide the risk assessment.”

Von Hebel wrote in the filing that he feared details of the assessment may leak “to a larger group of individuals.”

“Such assessments and methodology on which they are based are not distributed beyond a circle of individuals who are really in a ‘need to know’ position,” von Hebel wrote.

The tribunal was inaugurated in 2009 to investigate the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others in a massive explosion in 2005.



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