Court allows Judge Bitar to resume Beirut blast investigation
Former ministers charged in the investigation of the Beirut Port blast requested that Judge Tarek Bitar be removed from the investigation. The Beirut Appeals Court rejected their request. The investigation had been paused seven days ago after the judge continued to pursue ex-ministers and other high-ranking officials in politics and security. This led to three foreign ministers toa accuse the judge of being biased, and the court claimed it was not responsible to take on such a request as removing the judge from the investigation.
Human rights organizations and the families of the victims back Bitar. 300 people protested last Wednesday when the investigation was suspended and demanded his reinstatement. The ministers were fined 800,000 Lebanese pounds for the claim that the court deemed arbitrary. The investigation is ongoing into the Beirut blast on August 4, 2020 when a stockpile of ammonium nitrate, stored unsafely, detonated and killed more than 200 people.