Beirut port: former PM charged with homicide

Beirut port, former PM charged with homicide

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and two former ministers are facing charges for homicide with probable intent in connection with the 2020 Beirut port explosions, Reuters reported.

Judge Tarek Bitar, investigating the incident, also charged several other individuals including the Chief of Lebanese General Security, Abbas Ibrahim, the State Security Director, Major General Tony Saliba, and former Lebanese Army Commander, Jean Kahwaji.

The investigation had just resumed on 23 January as previously reported by Reuters.

Lebanese Prosecutor-General Ghassan Oueidat, who is also facing charges, announced his rejection of the decision, claiming that Bitar was suspended from his investigation over a year ago.

The investigation had been interrupted due to complaints filed by two former ministers facing charges, but it resumed after a legal opinion allowed Bitar to continue the probe.

READ: Eight more silos collapse at Beirut port

According to Reuters, 15 individuals, including former PM Diab and Prosecutor-General Oueidat, are set to be interrogated in February.

Those previously charged in the Beirut port blast investigation by Judge Bitar have denied any wrongdoing.

Primary investigations revealed that ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the port since 2014 caused the explosions, which resulted in over 200 deaths and 6,000 injuries.

In contrast, the port’s revenues saw a rapid recovery in late 2022, more than two years after the blast.

The average monthly revenues stood at $10 million in the last four months of last year, as the Lebanese Transport Ministry stated the decision to restart work at the port to restore functionality and attract foreign investment.

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