An-Nahar indicated that January 25, 2023 turned into a station in a series of black dates of disintegration, fragmentation, and collapse that Lebanon witnessed, so that it will prove to be the day that culminated in the resounding fall of the Lebanese judiciary in the face of the power of political immorality and its agendas on the one hand, and impotence, complicity, exclusivity, and disintegration on the other. In the hands of a judiciary and a judicial authority, it will be written that the investigation into the Beirut port explosion at dawn yesterday, and that the victims of the August 4, 2020 bombing fell again as martyrs, due to the suicide of the Lebanese judiciary. What happened yesterday in the fearful exaggeration in responding to the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion file, Judge Tariq Bitar, was nothing but the firing of mercy on the investigation into the afternoon explosion in the hands of the discriminatory Public Prosecutor, Judge Ghassan Oweidat. Oweidat waged a war against Bitar with no limits to his excesses, so he released all those arrested in the file of the port explosion, ended his withdrawal from the file, chased Bitar, claiming against him, preventing him from traveling, and demanding that he appear for investigation before him in what the judiciary had not previously witnessed in its history. And between the waves of “bartering” with measures and countermeasures, any presence of the Supreme Judicial Council and its president disappeared yesterday, as before, as if the matter could bear the luxury of waiting until today, just as the government watched and watched the ugliest thing the collapse of institutions in Lebanon knew, recalling the devastating war experience.
The fact that the evacuation of all those arrested in the port file after the lightning attack launched without any controls by the Public Prosecutor, Ghassan Oweidat, against the judicial investigator, Tariq Bitar, brought back to mind the image of opening prisons and the mass exit of prisoners during the war eras, rather than as a systematic judicial measure studied on the rhythm of abstract justice. As the personal was mixed with the political in the procedures for responding to Bitar, and they were dominated by a blatant retaliation, which stripped them of all the strict, strict character that characterizes impartial and objective judicial procedures. Observers and experts went to the great fear that the Lebanese judiciary, through the recent developments, had painted for itself an image that could not be restored, after it seemed as if it had collapsed and “committed suicide” under the weight of the practices of slippage, disintegration, improvisation, politicization, and even its fall into the suspicion of personalization and serving the enemies of reaching truth and justice in achieving the port explosion. So that signs of suspicion were drawn in front of the excessive extent that printed the Oweidat attack yesterday.
For its part, “Nidaa Al-Watan” pointed out that in the context of completing its counterattack on the judicial investigator, which he started on Tuesday by circulating to the security services not to implement the new summons decisions and releases that Al-Bitar wrote after resuming his duties, Oweidat decided yesterday to release all those arrested pending judicial investigation. In the crime of the Beirut port explosion, he claimed, in return, against the judicial investigator before the General Authority of the Court of Cassation, and instructed the Director General of Public Security to put a travel ban sign against him, bypassing his powers and the principles of litigation, according to the testimony of the former Public Prosecutor of Cassation, Judge Hatem Madi, who asserted that the steps and procedures of Oida are illegal and unlawful. The Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation has the right to take it, stressing that he does not have the right to release the detainees in the port explosion case, as it is a right attached to the person of the judicial investigator exclusively, nor does he have the power to issue a signal banning him from travel.
Despite this, Oweidat preferred to expedite the implementation of his decision to release all detainees without exception, while the caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, placed the employees of the first category at the disposal of the Prime Minister as of today, and placed employees from the non-first category at the disposal of the relevant ministers, after hesitating Information about the intention of the released Director General of Customs, Badri Daher, to go to his workplace in the port to resume his duties at the head of the General Directorate of Customs.--
And as the families of the victims of the port explosion gathered in the evening to the vicinity of Oweidat’s house to protest his seizure of the case, recalling that he was the first judicial official to give the signal to store the “ammonium nitrate” shipment that exploded and claimed the lives of their children on August 4 of the year 2020, “Nidaa Al-Watan” learned that A coordination meeting was held yesterday between the parliamentary components of the opposition forces, in the light of which it was decided to keep pace with the movement of the families of the victims today in front of the Palace of Justice, provided that a number of opposition representatives meet with the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Suhail Abboud, for this purpose, while the US State Department renewed the emphasis in the evening that “ The victims of the Beirut port explosion deserve justice, and those responsible must be held accountable.-
And while awaiting the conclusions of the Judicial Council meeting this afternoon, especially after Oweidat performed the task of releasing those arrested in the port explosion crime, which was intended to be entrusted to a judicial investigator, the original judicial investigator affirmed his intention to move forward with his tasks and investigations in the port explosion file, and Judge Al-Bitar told “Nidaa Al-Watan”: “I am the master of the file and complement the other,” stressing that he would not comply with the summons of the Public Prosecutor to discriminate against him, and added: “I knew from the beginning that it was not an easy battle, but in the name of justice I will continue my mission.”
In a series of other press statements, Al-Bitar confirmed that “Judge Oweidat cannot claim against a judge who previously charged him with the port crime due to a conflict of interests.” Pointing out that “only the judicial investigator has the right to issue release decisions, and there is no legal value to the cassation public prosecutor’s decision” in this regard, while expressing his insistence, on the other hand, to continue his duties in the port explosion file until the indictment is issued… “and I will issue it whether I am in my office, my home, or confinement.”