Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced Wednesday that Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare will leave post when his current term expires in February of 2011 and that he would not seek reappointment for a second term.
“Health reasons” was the pretext of Bellemare’s resignation which brings the number of resignations and sackings among the STL staff to thirteen.
In his letter to Ban Ki-moon, Bellemare stated: “It has been an honor and a privilege to seek justice for the people of Lebanon. While this long and difficult journey is far from over, solid foundations have been laid to achieve justice and accountability for the attack of Feb. 14, 2005, and connected cases, through the rule of law.”
In response to Bellemare’s decision, the head of the Defense Office, Francois Roux, said the tribunal would not be where it is today had it not been for “Bellemare’s efforts”.
“I regret that the prosecutor’s health has forced him to retire from the pursuit of justice. Despite our different points of view, I want to underline the prosecutor’s resolve in the exercise of his difficult mandate,” the STL quoted Roux as saying.
Bellemare said in a statement that he was proud to leave behind a strong team of committed professionals who had assisted him in the past three years in carrying out a challenging mandate.