BEIRUT — Relatives of detainees in the case of the Aug. 4, 2022, port blast observed Thursday evening a sit-in in front of the home of Judge Souheil Abboud, chairman of the Higher Judicial Council, in Ballouneh, Kesrouan, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Protesters demanded a decision made by the Higher Judicial Council to appoint an alternative judge to rule on urgent matters. This appointment is opposed by many relatives of the victims of the explosion.
"He doesn't want to appoint a substitute judge, what is he waiting for?" shouted the mother of Badri Daher, customs director at the Beirut port who is affiliated with President Michel Aoun and has been under lock and key since August 2020. "Souheil Abboud, corrupt!" chanted another protester.
The Lebanese Army deployed to the scene as protesters demanded the immediate release of their relatives.
Since the announced decision of the Higher Judicial Council to appoint an alternative judge in case of emergency, based on a proposal of the caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury, demonstrations by the families of the victims of the Aug. 4 blast have also erupted in reaction to the decision.
A group of the families of the victims of Aug. 4 have been regularly protesting against this decision, which they consider as political interference in a case already blocked from all sides. L'Orient-Le Jour has learned from judicial sources that Khoury has proposed the name of Samaranda Nassar, the first investigating judge in North Lebanon and who is reputedly affiliated with FPM.