The Lebanese economic crisis sinks another sector. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (TEL) has denounced the lack of liquidity that has forced it to cancel a new case in progress against the assassin of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.
Furthermore, the World Bank has declared the Lebanese debacle to be among the three worst economic crises since the 19th century . “Such a brutal and rapid contraction is usually associated with conflicts or wars, ” said the institution. The TEL, funded by the UN and Lebanon , is the new victim of the Lebanese recession.
The court receives 51% of its funds from voluntary contributions and 49% from the Lebanese government, which suffers a paralysis that deepens the country in its worst economic crisis in the last three decades.
For the past 2020, the Special Court had a budget of 55 million euros, but for this year it has been reduced by almost 40%, their representatives announced. At the same time, they presented their problems in obtaining contributions.
With the intention of saving the TEL, operational since 2009, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres , requested 20.5 million euros from the General Assembly to cover the deficit of funds in Lebanon this year, but only 12 were approved, 7 million.
“TEL continues its intense efforts to raise the funds necessary to carry out its ongoing legal proceedings and reiterates its urgent appeal to the international community for its continued financial support, ” the court announced last Thursday.
It was then that he announced his intention to cancel his second case against Salim Jamil Ayyash, a former Hezbollah member, convicted of the attack that killed Hariri and 21 others in 2005 . This second trial would begin on June 16, prosecuting him for another murder and attacks against Lebanese politicians between 2004 and 2005. The judges justified the cancellation of the case by considering ” useless to start a trial in June that is very likely to end in July for lack of funds”.
“It is an unfortunate decision that the train of justice stops at a time when we need it most and it is painful that the reasons are financial,” they added. Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri called on the Lebanese government to pay its fees for the TEL and for the international community to assume its responsibility to prevent the shutdown that would end his work, vital to ending political assassinations in the country, it read. your release.
Worst crises since the XIX
At the same time, the Lebanese Executive, in office since its resignation due to the explosion in Beirut in August , has asked the UN to urgently explore other forms of financing. “While we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to TEL, we firmly believe that these financial difficulties should not hamper the completion of its work,” said Acting Prime Minister Hasan Diab.
Lebanon is experiencing one of the three worst economic crises in history since the 19th century , according to the World Bank. The debacle “has exacerbated long-term national deficiencies, including institutional weaknesses, failed economic and social policies, and poor public service delivery,” the institution said. “In such an environment , there are greater risks of unleashing social unrest, ” he added.
With no “clear tipping point” on the horizon given deliberate and “disastrous” political inaction, Lebanon faces an economic depression that pushes it to the limits of a “failed state . ” In just two years, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has plummeted 40%, from $ 55 billion in 2018 to $ 33 billion in 2020 . Now also justice and historical reparation suffer the crisis in their own institutions.