SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 October 2021, Tuesday |

Khalil and Zaiter file a lawsuit to dismiss Judge Bitar

The ruling authority continues to undermine the investigations of the explosion of Beirut Port, and to circumvent the procedures of the judicial investigator Judge Tarek Bitar, after the tangible progress that has been achieved in investigations.

Judge Bitar has capped his work by prosecuting those involved in bringing ammonium nitrate to the Beirut Port, including the politicians who were decision makers and did not avoid the country the danger of a devastating explosion.

Sawt Beirut International (SBI) learned that the former Minister of Finance, Ali Hassan Khalil, and the former Minister of Transport and Public Works Ghazi Zaiter filed a lawsuit before the Court of Appeal in Beirut headed by Judge Nassib Elia. They requested that Bitar’s hand be dismissed in response to the latter’s decision to summon them to an interrogation session as defendants of the crime of “negligence”.

This lawsuit comes before the court completes informing the parties of MP Nohad Machnouk’s lawsuit, receiving the parties’ answers, and whether they agree to or reject Bitar’s request for dismissal.

It is noteworthy that the Court of Appeal has not yet begun the procedures for informing the parties of the content of Khalil and Zaiter’s lawsuit. Judicial sources told SBI that “the notification procedures will start at the time decided by the court, and confirmed that this court” speeds up the pace of notifications of Machnouk’s case, to immediately study the file to issue the appropriate decision, either by accepting the case and ending the mission of Judge Bitar, or rejecting it, thus the latter resumes his investigations into the case.”

The source stressed that “the law did not limit the court to a specific deadline, but rather obligated itself to expedite the issuance of its decision, especially since the investigation into the port explosion has been suspended since last Monday.”

The same sources did not rule out that “the court will reject the case of Machnouk, given that the Court of Appeal is not the valid reference to consider the lawsuit of litigating the judicial investigator and requesting his dismissal,” recalling that “the court’s jurisdiction is limited to the courts and investigative judges who are at the core of the distribution of work undertaken by the Court of Appeal.

However, the same source feared “introducing the investigation into successive lawsuits against Bitar to tighten the seal on the case and block the path to reaching the truth.”