Resumption of the investigation into the Beirut port explosion

Resumption of the investigation into the Beirut port explosion
Resumption of the investigation into the Beirut port explosion
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The judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion, Monday, resumed his investigations 13 months after they were suspended due to lawsuits filed successively by a number of defendants against him, according to a judicial official, according to Agence France-Presse.
Judge Tariq Bitar decided to release five detainees since the explosion that rocked the capital in August 2020, including two former officials at the port, in addition to prosecuting eight new people, including two high-ranking security officials, namely the Director General of Public Security, Abbas Ibrahim, and the Director General of State Security, Tony Saliba. According to the judicial official.

The investigation into the explosion, which resulted in more than 215 dead and 6,500 injured in December 2021, was suspended as a result of lawsuits filed successively by defendants, including current deputies and former ministers, against the judicial investigator.

The judicial official stated that “Bitar conducted a legal study that led to a decision to resume investigations, despite the lawsuits filed against him.”

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

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However, he collided with political interference that prevented the completion of his work, with major forces, most notably Hezbollah, objecting to his work and accusing him of “politicizing” the file, leading to a demand for his stepping down.

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The investigation sank into the labyrinths of politics, and then into judicial chaos, after about 20 work cases besieged Bitar, demanding that he stop his hand from the file.

Bitar’s decision to resume investigations comes about a week after he met a French judicial delegation during a visit aimed at inquiring about information requested by the French judiciary, which is conducting an investigation in Paris regarding the killing and injury of Frenchmen in the explosion.

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