As of: 01/24/2023 4:09 pm
Hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut in 2020. More than 200 people died. According to media reports, Attorney General Oueidat and other high-ranking officials will be charged.
According to media reports, the judge responsible for investigating the Beirut port explosion disaster has filed charges against Lebanese Attorney General Ghassan Oueidat and other high-ranking officials.
According to the Portal news agency, the judicial sources do not reveal what they are accused of. With reference to legal circles, the AFP news agency reports, among other things, negligent homicide, arson and sabotage. The Lebanese prosecution, however, rejected the allegations.
Allegations against the former prime minister
Investigating Judge Tarek Bitar officially resumed the investigation into the accident on Monday after a break of more than a year. He is investigating a total of 13 suspects.
In 2020, former investigating judge Fadi Sawan brought charges against then Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers. After that, Sawan was released. According to court documents, Diab is charged with “probable intentional homicide”, as Portal now reports. So far, no senior official has been held accountable.
Systematically hampered investigations
The investigation into the catastrophe was systematically obstructed from the outset. In December 2021, Bitar stopped the investigation for the time being after several politicians filed lawsuits against him. Influential Hezbollah, in particular, accused the judge of being biased and called for his resignation. Lebanese authorities have so far rejected an international investigation.
On August 4, 2020, hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in poor conditions in the port for years exploded. More than 200 people died, another 6,500 were injured and around 300,000 were left homeless.