Lebanon.. The Public Prosecutor of Cassation refuses to summon him in the Beirut explosion case

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The Lebanese Public Prosecutor, Ghassan Oweidat, tacitly refused to summon him by the investigating judge in the Beirut port explosion, Tariq Al-Bitar.

This came in a letter sent by Oweidat on Tuesday to the investigating judge, Tariq Al-Bitar, after he was summoned to investigate the case, according to Lebanese judicial sources.

Earlier on Tuesday, a judicial source told Anadolu Agency, preferring not to be named, that “Al-Bitar set out warrants to summon senior judges, security men, and possibly politicians for investigation, provided that this takes place next February, including Oweidat.”

The source considered summoning the Public Prosecutor of Cassation an “unprecedented step in the history of the Lebanese judiciary.”

In a message that Oweidat began with two verses from the Qur’an and the Bible, he addressed Al-Bitar, saying: “Your hand is bound by law, and no decision has been issued for its purpose to accept or reject your response, or to transfer or not transfer the case before you.”

Al-Bitar returned to his work after a 13-month hiatus, according to a legal study he prepared that allows him to complete work on the investigation file of the port explosion that occurred on August 4, 2020.

Since Monday, Lebanese media have been publishing leaks of Al-Bitar’s legal study containing allegations against defendants in the port explosion case.

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Earlier on Tuesday, LBC reported that Al-Bitar will be sued in February against the Director General of State Security, Major General Tony Saliba, the Director General of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, and the Head of the Supreme Council of Customs, Brigadier General Asaad Al-Tufaili and a member of the Supreme Council of Customs, Gracia Al-Qazi.

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The channel also mentioned that the investigating judge will also prosecute “Judges Ghassan Oweidat, Ghassan Khoury, Carla Shawah, and Jad Maalouf.”

In this study, Al-Bitar relied on legal jurisprudence that allows him to resume investigations and gives him broad powers to prosecute, without standing in front of any restrictions, according to the channel.

On Monday, Al-Bitar resumed his investigations into the port explosion, with a decision to release 5 detainees in the case, and the decisions of the investigating judge usually await a response from the General Authority of the Court of Cassation regarding their acceptance or rejection.

To date, the investigation into the port explosion has not reached any results due to the response requests submitted by the defendants (former deputies and ministers) against the judicial investigator Tariq Al-Bitar, which led to the suspension of the investigation since December 2021.

The port explosion claimed the lives of more than 200 Lebanese, injured about 6,500 others, and damaged about 50,000 housing units, with material losses estimated at nearly $15 billion.

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