Merlin Wehbe wrote in the Republic:
After yesterday’s evening session, which lasted until midnight in the office of Minister of Justice Marie-Claude Negm, and brought together the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Suhail Abboud and the majority of the members of the Council, the meeting concluded a preliminary agreement to appoint Judge Tariq Bitar as a judicial investigator in the file of the Beirut Port bombing. According to the information, the members did not express any objection to him, contrary to their stance when the star of Judge Club President Amani Salama was raised, as they did not comment on the name and were silent. However, after the meeting, the Minister of Justice insisted on sending an official written letter to the Judicial Council confirming Bitar’s name as an inclusive option, and thus obtaining official written approval for it.
The path of this appointment seemed to be in trouble, as until 4 pm yesterday, the Minister of Justice had not received any letter from the Supreme Judicial Council confirming his rejection or official approval of Judge Bitar’s appointment, a negative indication of what is inherent in this delay.
At a time when “Al-Gomhoria” learned that Najm contacted Judge Bitar yesterday morning, who had proposed it to take over the forensic investigation of the port explosion file, to clarify his position after information was leaked about his apology for accepting the task entrusted to him, but he expressed his willingness to take over the mission, contrary to what was circulated in the media.
In the context, the justice minister’s circles confirm that she waited for the official written response from the Judicial Council to her letter in which she requested written approval to assign Bitar, but the official answer arrived at 5 pm yesterday accompanied by an official letter from Bitar confirming his apology, to raise questions about whether it was Is the apology political pressure, or is the reason really related to personal issues that pertain to Judge Bitar ?!
While the truth is that the reasons for Bitar’s apology or the council’s rejection of his name are still unknown, after it hesitated about political disputes and interference hours before the name of the third judge, Fadi Sawan, was proposed, which seemed stable.
This is with regard to the appointment process. As for the judicial track concerned with the initial investigation into the Beirut Port explosion case, judicial sources revealed that preliminary investigations are continuing with the rest of the heads of the security services and responsible officers in the port, provided that the results of these investigations and their findings are deposited with the judicial judge. After he is formally assigned the task of investigation, provided that coordination continues between him and the Public Prosecution of the Court of Cassation. It should be noted that the appointment of the judicial investigator does not cancel the role of the public prosecution discriminatory with the military police, army intelligence, the information division, or all other agencies, but the matter has become linked to the judicial investigator’s request by sending a judicial delegation so that the discriminatory public prosecution and the agencies move to complete the investigation and deposit its results.
Al-Gomhoria learned that the Public Prosecution Office of the Discriminatory Public Prosecutor will bring charges before the judicial investigator against the officials and detainees who have been interrogated, and will request the issuance of arrest warrants against them. It will also refer to him the papers and documents in its possession to clarify and determine the responsibilities of a minor or neglectful of his duties in the port of Beirut, to be completed. New judge legal procedures in prosecutions or arrests.
Al-Jumhuriya also learned that, in addition to the arrested persons, the cassation public attorney, Judge Ghassan El-Khoury, conducted his investigations with the security officials at the port. In their right.
In a related context, Al-Jumhuriya learned that Judge Khoury’s investigation with the ministers of works, finance and justice will be postponed until after the judicial investigator announces that pursuing the ministers is not within his competence, and therefore he will ask the public prosecution to pursue the matter, and then the investigation with these ministers will be completed, and it is expected that it will be completed. Within a week, while it should be noted that the authority to prosecute ministers remains before the Supreme Council to try presidents and ministers, which is composed of deputies and judges.
Judicial sources revealed to Al-Gomhoria that the investigation of the Public Prosecution Office of Cassation will continue in parallel with the judicial investigation, provided that the results of the preliminary investigations shall be submitted successively by the Court of Cassation, in order to build on the matter.