| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Sawt Beirut International News Bulletin – April 19, 2021

In today’s news bulletin:

– Judge Aoun’s scales of justice: Vibrant words on corruption on the one hand, and blatant law violations on the other hand.

– Shocking numbers of stolen billions allocated for subsidies, and a salary of 20 million Lebanese pounds won’t be enough after Eid al-Fitr.

– Lebanese students abroad live under dire conditions as some banks abstain from implementing the law.

Anything could happen in this country, and especially in the midst of these dark days that we’re going through.

We see opposing parties in all countries around the world; any group who has its own political, social or economic principles can express itself by taking to the streets. Any other opposing group can also follow suit and therefore, we see them opposing each other on the streets.

Such moves can be understood and justified but what cannot be understood or justified is what we saw outside Beirut’s Palace of Justice. People were opposing judges to each other; one group supported Lebanon’s Prosecutor General Ghassan Oueidat while another group supported Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Ghada Aoun.

This is unbelievable and what is even more bizarre is that the two parties who took to the streets are the President’s party and that of the Prime Minister-designate. Why are these two parties turning Ghada Aoun’s case from a mere judicial one to a political one? Do the Adliyeh protests aim to back Ghada Aoun and Ghassan Oueidat or Michel Aoun and Saad Hariri in their open-ended battle against each other?

The High Judicial Council is therefore required to do a lot. To begin with, it should take the judicial file away from the streets and return it to the institutions again where the council is supposed to take an appropriate and clear decision.

Coup ideas are not welcomed in Lebanon, and no judge shall declare a state of disobedience or engage in a coup against the hierarchical system. Moreover, the Free Patriotic Movement’s feign weeping over the judicial independence is no longer convincing to anyone. If the Free Patriotic Movement really wanted an independent judiciary, why did its founder (the President of the Republic) not sign the judicial appointments decree, which he keeps in the drawer indefinitely?

To the two political movements and leaders and those behind them, we say one thing: you’ve made everything your own and you’ve destroyed everything. Have mercy on us and do not administer a “coup de grace” to the judiciary.