BEIRUT — The lead investigator in the Beirut port explosion, Judge Tarek Bitar, went to his office at Beirut’s Justice Palace Friday for the first time since Dec. 23, 2021, and he was informed of the political complaints submitted against him, the NNA reported.
Here’s what we know:
• A judicial source told L’Orient Today that Bitar’s receiving the political complaints against him “does not mean that he is off the [Beirut port] investigation or that his role is finished,” saying that no changes will happen “until the court makes a ruling on those complaints.”
• Almost two years after the tragedy, the investigation has been slowed by multiple political maneuvers and is currently suspended due to the different complaints filed against Bitar, notably by MPs Ghazi Zeaiter, Ali Hassan Khalil and former Public Works Minister Youssef Fenianos.
• Caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, who is close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, was accused of impeding the investigation by not signing judicial appointments, which have been blocked for several months for political reasons, putting the port blast probe on hold.
• The blast victims’ relatives have repeatedly called on authorities to expedite judicial appointments to allow the investigation to continue.