The leader of the Lebanese Shiite party militia Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, has harshly indicted Tarek Bitar, the judge in charge of the investigation into the August 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut, and accused him of holding “selective” positions. and “politicized”.
“The port blast judge is the last resort on this matter,” he said before calling for him to be replaced “with a transparent and honest judge,” adding that the families “will not reach the truth”. with this judge “.
He has warned that “the country could find itself in a major catastrophe if the judge continues to do so” and has reiterated that “what happened in the investigation of the explosion in the port has nothing to do with justice”. the law. “
“What happens in the investigation is a very, very, very, very big mistake and we will not accept that the matter will continue like this for the next few days,” he said. “It has to resolve the matter, and if it doesn’t, the government has to resolve it,” he said.
“The judge has to identify those who brought the ship with nitrates into the port of Beirut,” said Nasralá, who asked Bitar why he did not call President Michel Aoun and former President Michel Suleiman to testify, like the Lebanese News reported portal Naharnet.
With that in mind, he criticized Bitar for not consulting several former prime ministers “to see whether or not they were responsible”. “Instead, he hurried (to make a testimony) the former Prime Minister Hasan Diab,” he said. Diab resigned after a series of demonstrations days after the explosions.
“Why are you questioning former ministers instead of current ones?” “The responsibility of the judges is greater than that of the presidents, ministers and parliamentarians, because it is they who approved the ship with nitrates,” he said.
Finally, Nasralá said that “the judicial apparatus wants to protect itself” and added that “Bitar wants to put a respectable prime minister like Diab in jail”. “Is that the rule of law? It’s a state of the judiciary,” he argued.
The Hezbollah leader’s words, the harshest criticism of Bitar since taking over the investigation, come after the courts rejected motions from several former ministers summoned for his dismissal, which they had already done with his predecessor, Fadi Sauan.
In this way, the Court of Cassation dismissed the claims of Alí Hasán Jalil and Ghazi Zoaiter on Monday, about a week after the Court of Appeal did the same with another claim made by these two former ministers and the former owner of the Nuhad Machnuk portfolio. had done inside.
Bitar has summoned these three former ministers and Diab to testify over the next two weeks on alleged negligence that resulted in more than 200 deaths and enormous property damage in the port and other parts of the city.
Over the past few months, civil unrest has increased over the blockade of investigations and delays in the disfranchisement of former ministers and parliamentarians whom Judge Bitar has called as witnesses in the investigation, including Diab, who resigned after the explosions, and remained in office until an agreement was reached in September on the formation of the new government.