| 15 April 2024, Monday |

President Aoun affirms to be ready to answer questions on Beirut Port Blast

On Friday, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun notified the country’s public prosecutor that he was ready to make a statement about last year’s port blast in Beirut.

“No one is above the law, no matter how high up,” Aoun told prosecutor Ghassan Oweidat at a meeting, according to a statement posted by the president’s office. “Justice can only be delivered through the specialized judicial institutions that provide guarantees.”

The Aug. 4 explosion at the port, caused by a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely for years, killed over 200 people, injured thousands and destroyed large swathes of the capital.

A probe into the blast led by Judge Tarek Bitar has been hindered over the past month as requests sent to parliament and the government to lift immunity and enable questioning of several top officials were either declined or stalled.

Many Lebanese are angry that nearly a year after the incident, no senior official has yet been held responsible.

Influential Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said on Thursday the legislature was ready to lift the immunity of its members to allow for questioning but did not detail when or how this would be done.

  • Sawt Beirut International