The petitioner, Jamil El Sayed, asked that the he be allowed access to certain confidential evidence kept by the tribunal and dealing with the initial charges against him for his alleged participation in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. According to El Sayed, his illegal detention of almost four years, first by the Lebanese authorities and then briefly by the tribunal itself, was based on false and libelous statements, punishable under Lebanese law. At this time, he wishes to commence a libel suit in Lebanon; however, to proceed with this civil claim, he alleges that information only available to the tribunal has to be disclosed. El Sayed further argues that the continued inability to obtain the evidence is in violation of the right to access to justice protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
President Cassese agreed, holding that the right to access to justice is fundamental and must be protected. He ordered the case assigned to the pre-trial judge to determine whether the tribunal had jurisdiction over the issue and El Sayed’s standing; and if so, whether the information in question could be disclosed.