The first official of the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon to take up his functions, the registrar Robin Vincent, began his duties yesterday as the court continues to make progress in its start-up phase.
In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Mr. Vincent will work closely with the Special Tribunal’s management committee and with the UN Secretariat to take the necessary steps to formally establish the court, in line with Security Council resolution 1757 from last year.
“He will initially concentrate his activities on preparing the premises of the Tribunal, coordinating the transition between the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) and the Tribunal, recruiting core staff, and finalizing the Tribunal’s budget,” the statement added.
The Council asked Mr. Ban last year to set up the court after Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora informed the 15-member body that all domestic options had been exhausted, due to the country’s ongoing political crisis.
The Special Tribunal is designed to try those accused of recent political murders in Lebanon, particularly the February 2005 assassination of the former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in a massive car bombing in downtown Beirut that killed 22 others.
Last month, in a report to the Council, Mr. Ban said the selection of the judges and the prosecutor has also been completed and a draft budget will be submitted soon to the management committee of the Tribunal.