BEIRUT — Lebanon's caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury issued a statement Friday, the 3rd anniversary of the Beirut port explosion, calling on "those in charge to work quickly to deal with the outstanding files that are hampering the work of the investigating judge [Tarek Bitar]."
Khoury also stressed "the need to fill vacancies in the heads of the chambers of the Court of Cassation to enable the court's plenary assembly to do its work."
The minister "is convinced, despite the difficulties hampering progress on the [port] case, that justice will eventually reveal the truth," the text continues.
The explosion on Aug. 4, 2020, was caused when a fire in warehouse No. 12 at the port detonated a large quantity of ammonium nitrate — an explosive also used as fertilizer, according to Lebanese authorities. In 2013, thousands of tons of the explosive had been stored at the warehouse without adequate safety measures being put in place. The Lebanese investigation into the explosion is presently frozen, with Judge Bitar's work repeatedly hampered by political interference and multiple appeals the probe's invalidation.