Beirut Port Explosion: The judicial investigator is suing the Public Prosecutor and three other judges

Beirut Port Explosion: The judicial investigator is suing the Public Prosecutor and three other judges
Beirut Port Explosion: The judicial investigator is suing the Public Prosecutor and three other judges
-

This Tuesday, the Public Prosecution Office of the Court of Cassation rejected all the decisions taken by the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion since he announced on Monday the resumption of investigations that had been frozen for more than a year as a result of lawsuits filed by defendants against him, according to a judicial official.

The judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion case claimed eight people, including four judges, one of whom was the Public Prosecutor Ghassan Oweidat, according to a judicial official, in a procedure that is the first of its kind against a high-ranking judicial authority in the history of Lebanon.

On Monday, Judge Tariq Bitar resumed his investigations after more than a year of suspending them.

The allegation came within the framework of public right cases for “murder, abuse, arson and vandalism, all of which are linked to probable intent,” without specific details about the charges against each of the defendants. On Tuesday, Bitar set dates for the interrogation of 13 people, including the new defendants, on the same charge, during the period from February 6 to February 22 of the same month.

The Public Prosecutor, Ghassan Oweidat, issued a letter, a copy of which was seen by France Press, stating, “We confirm that your hands are bound by law, and no decision has been issued to accept or reject your response, or to transfer or not transfer the case before you.”

An explosion on August 4, 2020 left more than 215 dead and 6,500 injured. From the beginning, the Lebanese authorities attributed the explosion to the storage of large quantities of ammonium nitrate inside the port without any preventive measures, and the outbreak of a fire, the causes of which are unknown.

-

It turned out later that officials at several levels were aware of the dangers of storing the substance and did not move a finger.

--

A judicial source stated that in 2019, Oweidat oversaw preliminary investigations conducted by the State Security Apparatus about the existence of gaps in Ward No. 12, where a shipment of ammonium nitrate was stored.

Among the defendants are Director General of Public Security Abbas Ibrahim and Director of the State Security Agency Tony Saliba. Ibrahim has a good relationship with the political forces, especially Hezbollah, the most prominent political and military player in Lebanon. Saliba is considered close to former President Michel Aoun.

Bitar claimed more than a year ago against former Prime Minister Hassan Diab and former ministers, including former Ministers of Works Youssef Fenianos and Ghazi Zuaiter, and former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil. He also requested the interrogation of Ibrahim and Saliba.

The investigation into the explosion was suspended in December 2021 due to lawsuits filed successively by defendants, including current MPs and former ministers, against Bitar. And he collided with political interference that prevented the completion of his mission, with several political forces, most notably Hezbollah, objecting to his work and accusing him of “politicizing” the file, leading to the demand for his resignation.

However, Bitar conducted a legal review that led to his decision to resume investigations despite the lawsuits filed against him, in a decision that sparked widespread legal and political controversy, and it was not clear what its legal and political repercussions would be. The local newspaper, Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hezbollah, headlined its article on Tuesday about the resumption of investigations with “Tariq Bitar Jun.”

-

--

PREV Al-Tale’a faces Aswan in an equal confrontation in the Egyptian League.. today
NEXT The Central Disciplinary Committee issues a set of penalties against some professional championship clubs – El botola