Hezbollah obstructing criminal investigation of Beirut Port blast, report



FILE PHOTO: The High Judicial Council named judge Tarek Bitar (47) as the new Lebanese prosecutor to lead probe into Beirut blast , a day after his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawwan was removed. Bitar who is from Akkar region of north Lebanon served as the head of the Criminal Court in Beirut since 2017.

In his speech last week Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah attacked  the investigative judge in the Beirut port explosion, saying: “What is required of the investigative judge is the announcement of the result of the technical investigation, and I say that there is discretion and this judicial investigator is.” playing politics.” He vowed that Hezbollah will not allow the judge to prosecute any official over the Beirut blast

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Tuesday blasted Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah over his latest remarks on the port blast case.

“Some of the accused who have bad intentions are promoting the idea that those who caused the port blast were Muslims and that those affected were Christians and this is not true. Those promoting these remarks are seeking to protect themselves,” Geagea said at a press conference.

Blasting Nasrallah’s “massive attack on investigative judge Tarek al-Bitar,” Geagea wondered how the Hezbollah leader has known that “the technical investigation has ended.”

File photo of firefighters trying to extinguish the fire at Beirut Port following the explosion on Aug 4, 2020 in which 217 people were killed ,7000 Injured after several hundred tons of ammonium nitrate exploded . 2750 tons were stored there for nearly 7 years, reportedly for use by the Syrian regime in its barrel bombs. The shipment was reportedly confiscated by a close associate of President Michel Aoun and his son-in-law Gebran Bassil , both are allied with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah . The shipment arrived at a time when Syria was surrendering its chemical weapons to a UN backed organization for destruction . Aoun officially knew about the Ammonium Nitrate 2 weeks before the explosion but did nothing about it . He , along with his Hezbollah allies refused an international investigation but promised a local investigation that will bring the culprits to justice in less than a week but a year later and not one politician has been charged. According to an investigation by FBI only 20 % of the chemical exploded . Several intelligence reports revealed that Hezbollah shipped most of the ammonium nitrate to Syria and used the rest in Germany , UK and Cyprus for making bombs (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, Beirut, Lebanon(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)

Nasrallah “demonstrated how some media outlets have launched accusations against Hezbollah, but what does Bitar have to do with this matter?” the LF leader asked.

“Have you ever heard of the confidentiality of investigations?” Geagea added, addressing Nasrallah.

“We fully know that officials from Hezbollah have communicated with some suspects and senior officials who have been summoned to interrogation, asking them not to appear before Bitar,” the LF chief charged.

“I don’t know Judge Bitar in person but all the feedback confirms that he is an honest and upright judge,” Geagea went on to say.

Criticizing Nasrallah for “inciting the people against Judge Bitar and asking them to head to his house so that he reveals to them the results of the technical probe,” the LF leader again asked the Hezbollah chief whether he has knowledge of the investigation’s details.

“Then tell us what you know and how you know that there are no unified standards in the investigation,” Geagea added.



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