| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

“Sawt Beirut International” news bulletin for Saturday, July 3, 2021

In today’s news bulletin:

Shortly before a year on the security explosion, a political explosion at Beirut port

With Covid retreat, fear of a spread pandemic, disguised in mutated Delta

Lifting subsidies on fuel burns drivers’ nerves and citizens’ pocket

Tarik Bitar hit with a professional iron fist, and the Lebanese judiciary proved that it is capable of accountability and even facing the existing political financial security system. Two days before the end of the eleventh month of the port explosion, judicial investigator Judge Tariq Bitar, surprised everyone with a set of claims that spared no political side. Bitar claimed charges against President Hassan Diab, MPs Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghazi Zuaiter and Nohad Al-Mashnouq, and former Minister Youssef Finianos. He also claimed charges against the Director General of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, the Director General of State Security, Major General Antoine Saliba, and a number of former security leaders.

In Lebanon, it is an unprecedent move, and it indicates, if it continues, the beginning of a new stage at the judicial level. What is important is that the corrupt political system does not succeed in procrastination so its symbols avoid being interrogated under the pretext of immunity, for then, the strike will lose its power gradually. What is also feared is the religious and sectarian authorities’ intervention in order to protect those accused who belong to them, as it will jeopardize the dignity of the sect. So, will this tune emerge once again? And if so, will Judge Bitar submit to this scandalous blackmail? What is certain, is that the right judicial path has been launched, and that those who thought themselves above the law have become under it. The hope now, is for the expansion and continuation of Bitar’s move, as it is no longer permissible for the law to remain just a point of view in Lebanon, applied only on the weak who have no back or support.

Politically, Saad Hariri is in Cairo to meet Sisi to discuss his mandate, which is almost vanishing. Information stated that Hariri will inform the Egyptian side his desire to apologize, after he has reached a dead end, and is not capable of forming. Hariri’s visit is accompanied by confirmed information from the French capital, that Paris is no longer enthusiastic to Hariri, and that it has begun, with Washington approval, to look for alternatives. So, Will Hariri apologize upon his return from abroad, or will the Shiite duo continue with their firm endeavors to keep him?  because the collapse of the state is of Hezbollah’s interest. Everything is possible, but Hariri must remember that he is designated by the representatives of the Lebanese nation and not only by representatives of the Islamic State of Iran in Lebanon.