Beirut Port Explosion: The judge returns and the criminal appeals

Beirut Port Explosion: The judge returns and the criminal appeals
Beirut Port Explosion: The judge returns and the criminal appeals
-

Almost 15 months after the suspension of his work in the investigation of the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, the judicial investigator, Judge Tariq Al-Bitar, returned to his work after the Lebanese judiciary rejected the last batch of several successive lawsuits filed by former and current officials against the judge and demanded Withdraw from the investigation. Al-Bitar began issuing decisions to release detainees pending investigation, whose relationship to the bombing ranged between a simple worker and contractor, a former customs director and an operations director, and in return he made a decision to prosecute eight new people with heavy responsibilities, including the Director of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, and the Director General of the State Security Apparatus. Major General Antoine Saliba, whose allegations against them had previously been rejected by the Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Defense Council.
In principle, the step can be considered a positive development in a very complex file, the paths of which were stopped by major obstacles, the most obstructing of which was that the majority of those whom the judge decided to prosecute were mainly ministers and officials who already enjoyed direct protection from the most dominant security, military and political forces in Lebanon, starting with « Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, and not the end of the Free Movement. That is why the pressure on Bitar did not stop at the level of flooding him with lawsuits demanding that he stop his hand. Rather, he was previously subjected to an explicit threat from the Liaison and Coordination Officer in “Hezbollah”, and the famous Tayouneh demonstration was organized against him, and the ministers of the Shiite duo suspended their participation in government meetings, stipulating that the file be withdrawn from the judge. same.
In this sense, the positive step represented by Bitar’s return to his work will witness more than one counterattack that seeks to empty it of its procedural value and return the file to square one again, whether by filing more lawsuits aimed at obstruction, or direct bureaucratic failure through the courts or Judges affiliated with this or that of the parties opposing the course of the investigation, or fabricating new crises on top of the accumulated ones, in a country whose political class continues to freeze the election of a president of the republic, and continues to rely on a caretaker government, and entrusts a European body with investigation files in financial and banking corruption cases.
Before Al-Bitar returned to his office, the popular committees following up on the port crime had recorded a symbolic victory represented in the release of one of the most prominent spokesmen for the families of the victims, whom the General Directorate of Security had arrested, and it is expected that the momentum of the protests will intensify more and more in light of the reactions of the dominant forces in Lebanon regarding the prosecution’s decisions, which Al-Bitar reaffirmed. It is not easy for the Lebanese to turn a blind eye to a crime stemming from the largest non-nuclear explosion in the contemporary world, and the ignition of about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored since 2014, which resulted in the death of 220 victims and the injury of more than six thousand, and the massive destruction of the port facilities and the adjacent urbanization.
Therefore, the hour of reckoning is coming, regardless of the variety of forms of obstruction, procrastination and procrastination, and whether the victims waited long or short.

-

--

PREV 17 thousand tons of general and various goods were handled in the Red Sea ports
NEXT Norway is exploring for oil and gas in the Arctic