BEIRUT — Civil Court of Cassation judge Rola Masri sent back a demand to depose Judge Naji Eid and his advisor Rosine Ghantous from ruling on the complaint filed against the head of the Aug. 4, 2020 Beirut port blast investigation, Judge Tarek Bitar, a judicial source confirmed to L’Orient Today on Tuesday.
Here’s what we know:
• Masri’s ruling allows Eid and Ghantous to decide on the lawsuit filed against Bitar after their work had been suspended since the complaint was filed on Jan. 3 and they were notified on Jan. 25. A judicial source told L’Orient Today that the pair would resume examining the complaint against Bitar on Thursday. The cause for the complaint against Eid and Ghantous was reported as a prior rejection of a suit to dismiss Bitar.
• Bitar’s questioning of former ministers and MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter has been challenged numerous times, with accusations against him including that he has politicized the investigation and exceeded his prerogatives. Bitar’s probe was suspended for the fourth time after Khalil and Zeaiter filed another complaint against the lead investigator on Dec. 23.
• The loss of quorum in the Court of Cassation after the recent retirement of one of its members prevents it from issuing rulings on the complaints filed against Bitar.