Jan. 26 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Lebanese attorney general, Ghasan Ueidat, has accused the judge who is leading the investigations into the explosions on August 4, 2020 in the port of the capital, Beirut, for “rebellion against justice”, in another step in the confrontation. around the passage and in view of the discomfort of the relatives of the victims, who continue to demand that justice be done in the case.
Ueidat, which on Wednesday ordered the release of all those detained in the case, has indicated that judge Tarek Bitar has also been charged with “usurpation of power” and has prohibited him from leaving the country, as reported by the Lebanese newspaper ‘L’ Orient le Jour’. The attorney general’s decisions come in response to the accusation of him by Bitar, who resumed his investigations on Monday after thirteen months of blockade.
In fact, Bitar himself has stated in statements to the Lebanese state news agency, NNA, that he continues to carry out his duties and has recalled that Ueidat is challenged in the case because he was charged. For this reason, he has emphasized that the recent decisions of the attorney general “are illegitimate and should not be applied.”
The General Prosecutor’s Office already presented a notification on Tuesday to the courts so that they would not apply the latest decisions of the judge, considering them invalid. Bitar resumed his job on Monday after being blocked by a barrage of lawsuits against him by politicians and senior security officials whom he summoned to testify or charged in connection with the explosions.
Ueidat’s position in the case has increased the discomfort of the relatives of the victims and in fact a group of them met late Wednesday in front of the attorney general’s house to start a sit-in in protest of his order to release all those detained in the framework of the investigations into the event, which left more than 220 dead and enormous material damage.
Bitar replaced Fadi Sauan after he was removed from the case following a series of complaints by senior officials summoned to testify, including former Interior Minister Nuhad Machnuk, although demands by several former ministers called to testify also led to the suspension of their research.
The explosions were caused by about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port, the main entry point for goods and humanitarian aid, according to the first investigations, although other options have not been ruled out for now. The event provoked a wave of protests for what the population perceives as a reflection of mismanagement, corruption and the interference of the parties in state affairs, which led to the fall of Hasan Diab’s Executive.