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World

12 Oct 2021

Beirut Blast Investigation Halted after Arrest Warrants Issued

The Index Today

The Beirut port explosion investigation was put on hold on Tuesday for the second time after more complaints are receive against the lead investigator Judge Tarek Bitar.

The case has been suspended over two times in the past month due to unforeseen obstacles and red tape. Judge Tarek Bitar has been leading the case, taking onto some of the most powerful politicians on suspicion that they were aware of the chemicals and the posed risk.

The judge is currently facing pressure from opposing groups who have accused him being politically biased. Hezbollah announced on Monday that it wanted to remove Tarek Bitar from the ongoing case. Alongside the case being halted, many politicians in the country who were summoned for questioning have failed to comply.

Tarek Bitar is the second lead brought to lead the investigation as the first one, Fadi Sawan was removed in February due to complaints. Lawyer Paul Morcos said, “For the first time, the judicial system wants to function, but it is suffering under the political pressure and interventions.”

Prior to the case suspension, Tarek Bitar had issues arrest warrants for linked politicians who not only held powerful positions but were also a close ally to Hezbollah. Leader of Hezbollah has expressed criticism of Bitar and has issued warnings.

©Photo: AP Photo/Hussein Malla

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