“The Special Tribunal for Lebanon now has the necessary tools to deal promptly and efficiently with the first files concerning the Hariri case, which the Lebanese authorities are expected to transfer in the next few weeks,” its President, Antonio Cassese of Italy, said in a statement.In consultation with President Cassese, who was the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed François Roux of France as the head of the defence office.The Tribunal, an independent body located in The Hague, is designed to try those accused of recent political murders in Lebanon, particularly the February 2005 assassination of Mr. Hariri and 22 others in downtown Beirut.Daniel Bellemare, a Canadian prosecutor and former head of the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) into the murders, assumed his office as Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal when it began operations earlier this month. The judges and registrar of the court have already been sworn in as well, and rules governing detention and the directive on assignment of defence counsel have been adopted, the court said. According to the Tribunal, President Cassese and Daniel Fransen of Belgium, the Pre-Trial Judge, will soon take up their duties on a full-time basis. The other judges, for the Trial and Appeals Chambers, will take office on a date to be determined by the Secretary-General, in consultation with the President, and their names will be announced once all security measures are in place, the Tribunal said.The investigation continues under the guidance of Prosecutor Bellemare, and a trial will take place when he has sufficient evidence is in place, according to the court. 25 March 2009The United Nations-backed tribunal to try the perpetrators of a massive car bomb blast that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has appointed its main officials and adopted rules of procedures and evidence, the court announced today.
Nadarajah Mathinthiran alias Parithi, an ex-LTTE commander who had left the movement in the early 90’s and later coordinated Tamil organisational political activities in France since 2003, was killed last evening outside the office of the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) in Paris, the Tamil Nwt website quoted news sources in France as saying.The website meanwhile said that people close to the 49-year-old organiser, who was also known as Reagon, blamed the Sri Lankan military establishment for the assassination. “This seems to be a psyop assassination by the Sri Lankan state targeting the political mobilisation of the Tamil diaspora,” Mr Pradeep, an independent political activist based in Paris told TamilNet. The French Police is investigating the killing. Mathinthiran was shot at least three times when he was leaving the office of the TCC around 9:00 p.m. at Pyranees in Paris 20. Two weeks ago, the French legal proceedings sanctioned him a 10 months probation period that would have put him under close monitoring with restricted movement, including electronic monitoring. Reagon took part in the early operations of the LTTE against the Sri Lankan military in Mannaar, Jaffna and Vanni. He was a middle-level commander when he left the LTTE in the early 90’s.In 2003, when the Tiger leadership was engaged in transforming its diaspora network from its earlier structure, Mathinthiran, now named as Parithi was appointed as the coordinator of political and fund-raising activities in France.When the French authorities went on a crackdown of LTTE fundraising activities, Mathinthiran alias Parithi was held under arrest from 2007 to 2010 and was subjected to legal proceedings. He was released in 2010 under several conditions of monitoring by the French. The assassination has come at a time when Tamil groups in Paris were shedding away their internal differences of opinion, diaspora Tamil activists said, passing the entire blame of the assassination on the Sri Lankan military establishment.Mathinthiran was given with the nom de guerre Reagon when he joined the LTTE in 1983. He received his military training in the 2nd batch of the LTTE’s training programme provided by India. Some of his batch mates in the training camp in India were Kumarappa, Bhanu, Ranjan Lala and Vasu, the Tamil Net website said.
An image of the woman’s injury. Pic: AP Photo/Rio de Janeiro State Health DepartmentA WOMAN HAS miraculously survived after her husband accidentally shot her in the mouth with a harpoon, Brazilian officials said.The Rio de Janeiro State Health Department said in a statement that the woman’s husband was cleaning his spear gun when it went off, firing a harpoon that hit her cervical spine.Elisangela Borborema Rosa (28) was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery after the incident in the coastal city of Arraial do Cabo.The statement quotes neurosurgeon Allan da Costa as saying that the harpoon came within 1 centimeter (less than half an inch) of killing the woman. He said he expects a full recovery.InvestigationA police officer in Arrial do Cabo said by telephone that officials are looking into the case.“Everything indicates it was an accident, but we are investigating. We don’t think the husband tried to kill her,” said the officer, who cited department policy in declining to let her name be used.But once she fully recovers we will be able to question her and get a clearer picture of what happened.