The Supreme Council of the Judiciary on Thursday agreed to the appointment of Military Investigation Judge, Fadi Sawan as a judicial investigator in the Beirut port blast probe that will be handled by the Judicial Council.
Caretaker Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm recommended him to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary
Sawan is expected to take over the probe file on Friday.
“He will begin interrogating the 19 detainees and will issue the necessary arrest warrants for them,” NNA reported .
Judge Fadi Sawan recently created an outrage when he charged Lebanese activist Kinda el Khatib with collaborating with Israel while her family and supporters denied the charge and maintained her innocence and staged a protest outside of the military court in Beirut demanding her release.
After Khatib’s arrest from her home in northern Lebanon’s Akkar region, her supporters speculated that she had been targeted because of her social media posts criticizing Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun.
Some observers pointed out the potential parallels between Khatib’s case and that of actor Ziad Itani, who was arrested in 2017 and charged with collaborating with Israel. It later came to light that Itani had been framed and he was released.
Human Rights Watch released a report in 2018 detailing allegations that Itani was tortured while he was being detained and interrogated.
Kinda al-Khatib’s arrest comes in wake of spate of recent prosecutions targeting individuals peacefully voicing their criticism of the government on social media.
Itani himself wrote on Facebook that he had been reluctant to comment on Khatib’s case without having heard from the defendant herself. He cautioned against a rush to judgment, even among those who disagree with Khatib’s political views.
“As for the tweets that Kinda writes and the positions that she speaks about, perhaps I don’t agree with everything she says, but I wish that the political positions of any person would not make us abandon him and drop the presumption of innocence, and I wish that what we would not wish for any person to be an agent of the occupation, even our biggest opponents in politics,” he wrote. “I hope that Kinda is innocent, and that there is not among us one single agent or one oppressed person.”
It is customary for Hezbollah to accuse its opponents of collaborating with Israel
Ali al-Amin a prominent Shiite cleric blasted Hezbollah last December after the latter’s accusations that he is “normalizing ties with Israel.”
“Treason campaigns against me by Hezbollah are not something new and are due to my rejection of the Iranian project they carry to Lebanon and the region,” said al-Amin during a press conference.
Hezbollah denounced the participation of Amin in a religious forum in Bahrain attended by “Zionist figures” and accused him of “normalizing” ties with Israel.
Amin said: “My disagreement with Hezbollah and AMAL (movement) is not new, and I will remain supportive of the Lebanese people’s uprising.”
He accused the party of launching “treason campaigns and fabrications.”
On his participation in the Bahrain forum that allowed the participation of Israel, he said: “I took part in the forum without knowing the participants’ names,” noting it was also attended by Lebanon’s ambassador to Bahrain, who happens to be Shiite too .
There is concern in Lebanon and the International community about the investigation of the blasts , since like the whole Lebanese system of government the judicial system is corrupt and is incapable of conducting an independent investigation this is why the International community and Lebanese opposition are calling for an independent terminational investigation , but Aoun and Hezbollah are totally opposed to the idea
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