Beirut blast decide summons ex-ministers as stress mounts

Beirut explosion investigator Tarek Bitar continues to pursue political leaders regardless of Lebanese politicians attempting to take away him.

Beirut, Lebanon – The lead investigator of the Beirut Port blast probe summoned two charged ex-ministers once more as Lebanese leaders proceed to mount stress on him.

Judge Tarek Bitar on Tuesday scheduled interrogations with former ministers Nouhad Machnouk and Ghazi Zeiter on October 29. Both are at present sitting members of parliament.

Zeiter and Machnouk have been each scheduled for questioning final week earlier than the investigation was briefly suspended. Bitar additionally has a pending session with Prime Minister Hasan Diab on October 28.

He has additionally charged and pursued ex-ministers Ali Hasan Khalil and Yousef Finianos. He issued arrest warrants for each, however they haven’t but been carried out.

The 4 former ministers have repeatedly filed authorized complaints to take away Bitar from the investigation, which have been rejected or stay pending.

The blast probe was briefly suspended on two events, which authorized specialists mentioned was a stalling tactic earlier than parliament is in session once more in order that these beneath investigation can declare parliamentary immunity.

Lebanese leaders, most notably Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, proceed to name for Bitar’s elimination, and accuse him of being biased and his strikes politically motivated.

Last Thursday, throughout a Beirut protest of Hezbollah and Amal supporters calling for Bitar’s elimination, unidentified gunmen opened hearth, turning the protest into hours-long armed confrontations. Seven combatants and civilians died.

Many households of the blast victims, human rights organisations, and authorized activists proceed to again Bitar, saying he has set a precedent for accountability and justice in Lebanon.

Entire neighbourhoods in Beirut have been destroyed within the explosion on August 4, 2020, after an enormous stockpile of ammonium nitrate, which had been saved unsafely on the port for years, detonated.

More than 200 folks have been killed and about 6,500 injured. An estimated 300,000 folks have been additionally left homeless in one of many largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded. No officers have been convicted.