A Lebanese Bar Association asked the British authorities to stop the voluntary liquidation of a company registered in Britain due to possible links to the Beirut port bombing last year, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
In a letter sent on January 25 to British lawmaker Margaret Hodge, the Beirut Bar Association said that it had asked the UK Company Registration Office to prevent the liquidation of Safaru Limited, which it describes as an “accused entity”, to allow investigations into Possible role in the explosion.The letter from the head of the Beirut Bar, Melhem Khalaf, confirms that the Lebanese judge in charge of the investigation has charged Safaro, and that allowing her to liquidate “before the end of the judicial procedures will allow the accused entity to evade justice.”
The letter reveals the possible indictment of Safaru.
It is not known if Safaru faced charges and when, if so, that the judge, the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, and Khalaf have not yet responded to requests for comment on the letter.
Marina Selo, who is registered with the corporate registry as Savaru’s owner and sole manager, also did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.
The company registry, which has the power to delay the liquidation of companies, said it does not comment on individual cases.
On January 12, Selo filed a request with the company registration office to liquidate Safaru, which has provided annual data since 2008 stating that it is not working.
Cielo told Reuters last week that she was working as an agent for Safaru on behalf of another owner, whose identity she did not reveal, and denied that Safaru was linked to the Lebanon explosion, saying she believed she had never done any business.
A Reuters investigation last year into the Beirut bombing that killed 200 concluded that the huge ammonium nitrate fertilizer shipment that exploded was trapped in Beirut while it was on its way to Mozambique.
The Mozambican buyer, FEM, said he bought the shipment from Safaru.
In its letter to Hodge, the Beirut Bar Association said that Safaru’s name and address “appear on documents as the buyer of the high-density ammonium nitrate shipment that ultimately exploded in August 2020.”
Hodge called last week for a British investigation into Safaru.
The letter states that the Beirut Bar Association was granted plaintiff status in the case, which gave it access to the details of the official investigation into the explosion.