A video in which ” Change and reform” party leader Elie Mahfouz, a lawyer questions why Hezbollah security Wafic Safa was allowed to enter the Supreme court. He accused the Hezbollah militia of being an Iranian backed cancer that occupied the land of Lebanon and is now trying to control its courts too
Beirut port blast lead investigative judge Tarek Bitar has confirmed in a letter to State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat that he has received a verbal threat from senior Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa, media reports said on Wednesday.
Oueidat had on Tuesday asked Bitar to prepare a written report about “what’s being circulated about a verbal message that he indirectly received from Safa.”
LBCI TV reporter Edmond Sassine earlier on Tuesday posted a tweet alleging that Safa had threatened Bitar through a third person.
“We’re totally fed up with you. We will go with you until the end in the legal course and if it doesn’t work out we will uproot you,” Sassine quoted Safa as telling Bitar through a third person.
LBCI and the Lebanese Annahar news both reported on Wednesday that Bitar had confirmed the reports about the alleged threat by Hezbollah.
Families of the victims of the Beirut explosion expressed outrage at the report, telling Lebanese media that they would be guards under Bitar’s house and stressing that the judiciary must be respected.
Justice Minister Henri Khoury met Wednesday at the Ministry with Judge Bitar
A statement issued by Khoury’s office said the Minister “exclusively asked him about what media outlets have been circulating since yesterday about his personal security.”
“Minister Khoury will follow up on this issue with the relevant judicial authorities to take the necessary measures,” the statement added.
Geagea defends Bitar
Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, voiced his support in a statement on Wednesday for Judge Bitar,
“It is very shameful to threaten one of the most honorable and impeccable judges, in a case of the size of the Beirut port blast and its tragic consequences,” Geagea said.
The statement came after reports that Safa had sent a threatening verbal message to Bitar.
Geagea went on to say that, “It is also a pity that many of the personalities that have been summoned for interrogation have not responded to the investigator under the pretext of immunities or under the pretext of sectarian balance.”
He asked the new Minister of Justice and the new government “to stand as bulwark” in the face of every threat or obstruction to the judicial investigator.
“In all cases, we will not let go of the port explosion issue without revealing the truth,” Geagea added.
This development comes after Judge Bitar summoned for interrogation several officials who are closely associated over the massive Beirut Port explosion that occurred on Aug 4 last year . It appears that Hezbollah was behind the storing of ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion and for this reason it wants to get rid of Judge Bitar
Last week, Bitar issued an arrest warrant for former public works minister Youssef Finianos, a Hezbollah ally sanctioned by the US. Bitar has also issued requests to question former prime minister Hassan Diab and other ministers and top officials.
Diab fled last week to London to avoid being interrogated by Judge Bitar and Fenianos is reportedly trying to get the Judge fired .