Lebanon’s State Prosecutor Charges Beirut Blast Investigator with Rebelling against Judiciary, Releases All Detainees

January 25, 2023

The Lebanese State Prosecutor Ghassan Oweidat issued on Wednesday a decision according to which all detainees in the Beirut Port case are released with a travel ban.

Lebanese State Prosecutor Ghassan Oweidat

Oweidat also charged the investigator into the case Tarek Al-Bitar with rebelling against the judiciary, summoning him for questioning on Thursday morning and preventing him from travel.

The State Prosecutor stressed that his decisions are aimed at frustrating sedition, which caused rifts in the judicial system.

Al-Bitar had issued arrest warrants against officials as well as military figures on an illogical basis, pushing the defendants and observers to cast doubts on his probe.

On August 4, 2020, a massive blast rocked Beirut Port blast, killing around 196 citizens and injuring over 6000 of others. The explosion also caused much destruction in the capital and its suburbs.

Photo shows damage at Beirut Port following the huge blasts which took place there (Tuesday, August 4, 2020).

Bitar this week resumed work on the investigation after a 13-month hiatus, charging several high-level officials, including Oweidat over the blast.

The measures of releasing the port blast detainees have started at the prison of the Justice Palace in Beirut, according to Al-Manar TV.

Media reports mentioned that the former Customs General Director Badri Daher was released.

For his partAl-Bitar was reported as saying that he would not step down from the probe, rejecting Oweidat charges.

“I am still the investigative judge, and I will not step down from this case,” Bitar said, adding that Oweidat “has no authority to charge me”.

Judge Tarek Bitar

Member of Loyalty to Resistance bloc, MP Ibrahim Al Moussawi, comments on the latest judicial developments by stressing that Judge Oweidat’s decisions are a step in the right path to restore confidence in judges and judiciary after it was destroyed by some of the judicial family members.

Member of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc Ibrahim Al-Mousawi

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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