As reported by judicial circles on Tuesday, he charges them and four other suspects with negligent homicide, arson and sabotage, among other things. However, the Lebanese public prosecutor’s office immediately rejected the allegations.
When hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate carelessly stored in the port exploded on August 4, 2020, entire districts of Beirut were leveled. More than 200 people died, another 6,500 were injured and around 300,000 were left homeless.
Investigating judge Tarek Bitar officially resumed the investigation into the accident on Monday after a 13-month break. He is investigating a total of 13 suspects. Bitar had already filed charges against five suspects before the break in investigations, including former Prime Minister Hassan Diab and former ministers.
Lebanese security agency director Abbas Ibrahim and state security chief Tony Saliba are among the new suspects, as announced on Monday. Attorney General Oueidate had overseen an investigation in 2019 into cracks in the warehouse where ammonium nitrate was stored unprotected, according to the judiciary.
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.