Thursday, August 23, 2007
  End the Lack of Transparency in the Selection of Judges for the Hariri Court
End the Lack of Transparency in the
Selection of Judges for the Hariri Court
By Publishing the Secret List of the Nominees Immediately!

Beirut, August 23, 2007: Dr. Muhamad Mugraby issued the following statement:

One month ago to the day, I called on the United Nations Secretary General and the Lebanese Minister of Justice to adopt a transparent process in the nomination for, and selection of, judges on the prospective Hariri Court. In particular, I called on the Lebanese Minister to make public the list of names of the Lebanese candidates he sent to the UN Secretary General under a secret letter. This morning, "Nahar Ash-Shabab" published an interview with MP and former minister Walid Jumblat in which he stated that he knew the names. He said that the list of names is not a secret and is "booby-trapped". Jumblat added: "I was astonished to discover that one of the judges is a Syrian agent".

I do not believe that Minister Jumblat did not know that Syrian General Ghazi Kinaan was directly involved with the appointment and promotion of high judges, including the president of the High Judiciary Council, and many of their assistants. Most of those appointees still occupy their posts, although it is possible that some of them may have changed the color of their allegiance due to the change of circumstances.

But it is a very serious charge by such a knowledgeable and influential person to say that the list of proposed judges is "booby-trapped" and consists partly of Syrian agents. It makes it mandatory that the Minister of Justice publish the list immediately. Minister Rizk had in the past published the full list of the judicial re-appointments before it was issued and it has never been issued. If Rizk should refrain from publishing the list of names I call on Jumblat to publish the list he has.

Jumblat's charges are so serious that the list, once published, should be made the subject of open debate and honest scrutiny.

Dr. Mugraby is the president of the Center for democracy and the Rule of Law and the founder of the Campaign for Judicial Integrity

For further information: E-mail info@cdrl.org and visit http://www.cdrl.org/.
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