Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brammertz: Tribunal at earliest in 1 year

During the presentation of his interim report, Chief UN investigator Brammertz has asked to start the Tribunal only after all his research work is done. He estimates to need at least one more year.

What to think of this delay? Surely, he is working as fast as he can and surely he would like the Tribunal to start as soon as possible. That’s what makes his estimate even more serious: the 1 year time frame can easily be wishful thinking.

It’s interesting e.g., to read his report in which he wrote that the team is faced with delays due to the large number of Arabic pages that need to be translated: 500. Is that really such a huge number, worth mentioning in an official UN report as a motivation for extension?

It’s too bad for Lebanon that it has to wait so long, especially since quite a few were hoping to see the UN Tribunal take place much earlier. Then again, perhaps this delay will calm down emotions of the various politicians. The pro-government block has less reason now to push Berri into convening parliament as soon as possible.

The first sign of this realization was perhaps demonstrated today by Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh who mentioned other reasons to convene Parliament besides the UN Tribunal. He is right of course, a country would need a working parliament to function and there are plenty of issues to be dealt with.