The Guardian: Chaos with the Beirut port explosion investigations

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A sharp row has erupted among Lebanon’s top judges who have brought charges against each other. More than two years after the massive explosion that devastated Beirut’s port, all suspects in the faltering investigation have been released.

sudden movements

The sudden moves came after Judge Tariq Bitar resumed the investigation Beirut port explosion file, after he was suspended from work more than a year ago due to the opposition of the political factions in the country to the investigation. Al-Bitar indicated that the factions did not show any interest in achieving justice for the more than 202 dead and thousands of wounded who were killed during the explosion, according to the British Guardian newspaper.

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Bitar’s first action was to indict Lebanon’s public prosecutor, the two intelligence chiefs and a number of other officials on charges of obstruction of justice. The move is unprecedented in Lebanon, where senior officials have been untouchable in the post-civil war years and the country’s leaders have grown out of control.

The release of the accused

Attorney General Ghassan Oweidat’s response to Al-Bitar was swift, after he ordered yesterday, Wednesday, the release of all the suspects detained since the explosion, who are a group of employees who worked in the port,

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These developments terrified the families of the victims who were killed in the explosion, who continued to demand justice in vain, and these movements added more doubts about the feasibility of the investigations and the arrest of those involved in the accident.

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Convict those responsible

The Guardian stated that Bitar’s work has become a condemnation of the entire system, which usually works to protect the interests of security officials, the army, political groups, and Hezbollah, which personally acted against Bitar.

Charbel Abboud, a relative of one of the victims injured in the port explosion, told the Guardian: “This country is broken and this is conclusive evidence.” He added, “Now the judges will fight among themselves and nothing will happen.”

Justice and Lebanon

For his part, Muhannad Al-Haj Ali, director of communications and media at the Carnegie Middle East and North Africa Center, told the newspaper: “Without any local political support, Bitar is challenging an untouchable political class over its role in the port explosion.”

Maryam Daoud, a resident of Beirut, considered that Bitar’s attempts do not change anything. She added, “You cannot arrest intelligence chiefs and judges here. What happened is a sign that Bitar no longer has a place to go. Justice and Lebanon never meet.

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