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Tarek Bitar the lead judge investigating the massive Beirut Port explosion that killed over 218 people , injured over 7000, left 300, 000 homeless after a huge section of Beirut was destroyed in the blast . Hezbollah and other politicians tried to get him fired fronm his position like they did to his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawan but failed to unseat him . The background shows the grain silos that were destroyed in the blast

Tarek Bitar the lead judge investigating the massive Beirut Port explosion scheduled Tuesday the sessions for the interrogation of three former ministers and former PM Hassan Diab . The head of the Justicia Human Rights Foundation, lawyer Dr. Paul Morcos, explains to Lebanon Debate that the judicial investigator has the right to request an interrogation of lawmakers without asking for permission from the Parliament now that the exceptional emergency session has ended with the government gaining the vote of confidence. He also pointed out that “the investigator can now begin his sessions and summons and take penal measures without the permission of the Parliament, but on October 19, the parliament reconvenes for the second annual session, and at that time the judicial investigator must seek permission from the parliament before taking penal measures,

Here are the officials who will be interrogated by Judge Bitar

Lebanon’s former caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab . Diab knew about the presence of the explosive chemical that was stored at the port but did nothing about it . Judge Bitar is scheduled to interrogate him on October er 28
As part of the 2020 Beirut explosion, Ghazi Zaiter has been under scrutiny since, as Minister of Public Works and Transportation at the time of the explosion , he had been responsible for dealing with the ship carrying the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that docked on Beirut’s Port in 2013.  In addition the ship’s captain, Boris Prokoshev revealed that the crew’s lawyer who helped them abandon the ship in Beirut had been Mohammed Zaiter , Ghazi Zaiter’s son. Judge Bitar is scheduled to interrogate him on October er 13
Ali Hassan Khalil the  former ministers of finance of Lebanon. He was finance minister in 2014 (when the ammonium nitrate was confiscated by the Lebanese authoritie , in 2016, and until 2020 when the explosion occurred .. The U.S. Treasury Khalil who represented Speaker Nabih Berri’s Amal Movement in the cabinet but sanctioned because he is allied with the militant Iranian backed Hezbollah . Judge Bitar is scheduled to interrogate him on October er 12
Nouhad al-Mashnouq was appointed Minister of Interior and Municipalities in the cabinet of Former Prime Minister Tammam Salam on February 15, 2014 the year  (when the ammonium nitrate was confiscated by the Lebanese authorities. Again he was appointed as Minister of Interior and Municipalities in the cabinet of Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri . Judge Bitar is scheduled to interrogate him on October er 13

Many of the relatives of the Beirut blast victims urged judge Tarek Bitar to also interrogate president Michel Aoun, who like Diab knew about the presence of the explosive chemical that was stored at the port but did nothing about it . They are still hopeful he would call Aoun and Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah for interrogation The massive explosion that killed over 218 people , injured over 7000, left 300, 000 homeless after a huge section of Beirut was destroyed in the blast .

The blast was felt across TurkeySyriaPalestineIsrael as well as parts of Europe, and was heard in Cyprus, more than 240 km (150 mi) away. It was detected by the United States Geological Survey as a seismic event of magnitude 3.3, and is considered one of the most powerful artificial non-nuclear explosions in history.

File photo of firefighters trying to extinguish the fire at Beirut Port following the explosion on Aug 4, 2020 in which 218 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 nitrate to Syria and used the rest in Germany , UK and Cyprus (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, Beirut, Lebanon(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)

Hezbollah and other politicians tried to get Judge Bitar fired from his position like they did to his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawan before but failed to unseat him .

Several Lebanese analysts and intelligence reports pointed fingers at Hezbollah as being the party behind the Ammonium nitrate shipment

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