BEIRUT — The Higher Judicial council took the decision Tuesday to appoint an alternate investigative judge in the case of the Aug. 4, 2020 explosion at the Beirut port, while the lead investigator Tarek Bitar remains in his position. According to a well-informed judicial source who spoke to L’Orient-Le Jour, Bitar is expected to oppose the decision.
Here's what we know:
• The decision of the Higher Judicial council came after a long meeting during which the ten members of the body approved a proposal by the Minister of Justice, Henry Khoury, to appoint another judge who would be responsible for ruling on issues related to the release of detainees who have been held, without trial, after the blast in alleged relation to the explosion.
• More than two years after the tragedy of Aug. 4, 2020, which took the lives of more than 220 people and injured 6,500 others, the Beirut port explosion investigation has been put on hold due to the numerous requests for the removal of Bitar, by senior politicians who have been summoned for questioning or are being prosecuted.