SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 27 January 2023, Friday |

New obstacles hindering Bitar’s procedures.

Political immunities and some legal procedures are still hindering the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion file, Judge Tariq Bitar’s investigation course, and interrogating political and security officials and employees he claimed, is still awaiting the Parliament’s decision to lift the immunities of the three MPs, Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zuaiter and Nuhad Al-Machnouk, in addition to other defendants, Bitar failed once again to interrogate the former director of intelligence in the Lebanese army, Brigadier General Kimmel Daher, and the former employee at the port, Moussa Hazimeh, in a session that was scheduled for today, as the Discriminatory Public Prosecution did not give its opinion in  the formal defenses submitted by the defendants, and decides to postpone the interrogation to a later date.

Judge Bitar will hold a session tomorrow to interrogate the port employee, Sami Hussein, and it is also expected to be postponed, as long as the Discriminatory Public Prosecution will not express its opinion on the formal defenses. It is also assumed that the interrogation session of the former army chief, Jean Kahwagi, on Wednesday (the day after tomorrow) will meet the same fate, as information indicates that the latter will attend the session with his legal representative, lawyer Antoine Toubia, and wait to submit formal defenses, which calls for postponing the interrogation, especially since the judicial investigator cannot skip these procedures, and he is forced to wait for a decision.

Meanwhile, the interrogation session of the caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, is still taking place on its scheduled date next Thursday, but informed sources confirmed to “Sawt Beirut International”, that Diab’s notification paper has not been returned, and he did not know whether he was duly informed, or not”. It pointed out that the judicial investigator “called Hassan Diab to come to his office at the Palace of Justice, unlike his predecessor, Judge Fadi Sawan, when he decided to personally go to the Saray to interrogate the Prime Minister after the prosecution, but he did not succeed in doing so because of his dismissal from the case.” The sources expected that “the caretaker prime minister will neglect the decision to attend the investigation, pending what the Parliament will decide, which will include his review of the prosecution file on Diab and the former Minister of labor, Youssef Fenianos.