Former Lebanese general appeals tribunal order

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A former Lebanese general who was detained for four years in connection with the death of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri indicated Wednesday he would appeal a special tribunal judge's decision to give him partial access to his case file.

"The applicant is asking the appeals chamber to cancel the decision in that it denies rights of the applicant in a general and absolute way to access three categories of documents," Jamil El Sayed's lawyer Akram Azoury said in a notice of appeal.

Azoury's request was published on the website of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and dated May 20.

Sayed, Lebanon's former security services director, was arrested following the death of Hariri and 22 other people in a Beirut bomb attack on February 14, 2005.

He claims his detention between August 30, 2005, and April 30, 2009, was decided on the basis of libelous denunciations made during an inquiry into Hariri's death.

On May 12, pre-trial Judge Daniel Fransen of the tribunal based in The Hague ordered that Sayed be given access to more than 270 documents in order for him to launch proceedings in another court.

But the STL said at the time that "a large majority" of documents would be disclosed to Sayed, whilst others could be inspected only by his council.

The tribunal also stated that the documents could be used only for "legitimate" purposes and that it had to respect the "presumption of innocence, the right to defence and the right of privacy of third parties."

The tribunal was created at Lebanon's request by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution to find and try Hariri's killers.

© 2011 AFP

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