President of the US-sponsored Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Antonio Cassese had called for the US and Europe’s widespread support for the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group, a report says.
Addressing a conference, dubbed “In Search of Justice, European Committee for De-listing the MKO” held in 2008, Cassese said the terrorist group should benefit from judiciary immunity, Fars news agency reported on Sunday.
Cassese is expected to issue a verdict at the STL — created two years after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and more than 20 others with him in Beirut on February 2005.
The tribunal, supported by the US, has sparked tension and plunged Lebanon into its worst political crisis since 2008.
The MKO is especially notorious in Iran for having sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran.
It has also claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks and the assassination of significant figures and ordinary civilians in Iran over the past three decades.
The group is listed as a terrorist group by Tehran and much of the international community.
A number of judges attending the 2008 European conference on the MKO claimed that including the group in the list of terrorists would be “illegal.”
They also claim that according to two resolutions passed by the European Parliament on July 12, 2007 and September 4, 2008, the MKO members in Camp Ashraf, in the Iraqi province of Diyala, are regarded as “political refugees” and should benefit from the Geneva Treaty.
It urged the United States to continue protecting Camp Ashraf, warning that a complete removal of support for the MKO members could lead to a catastrophe.
The European Union removed the MKO from its list of terrorist organizations in 2009.
The MKO, which has been on the US terror list since 1997, filed a petition against the blacklisting in 2008.