Unanswered questions: Beirut Blast anniversary sheds light on stalled investigations

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2023-08-04 | 01:39
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Unanswered questions: Beirut Blast anniversary sheds light on stalled investigations
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3min
Unanswered questions: Beirut Blast anniversary sheds light on stalled investigations

Lebanon commemorates the third anniversary of the devastating Beirut Port explosion, which occurred on August 4, 2020, claiming the lives of at least 235 people, injuring thousands, and causing destruction to over half of the city. 
 
The investigations into the explosion, which have been stalled for months, have yet to uncover the truth regarding the responsibility for the blast due to political interventions that have hindered the efforts of Judge Tarek Bitar, the lead investigator, after he implicated senior officials in the case.

Year after year, the space for hope among the Lebanese people to attain the truth diminishes while the grief deepens for the families of the victims and the injured, whose wounds remain unhealed. This also extends to those who lost their homes or livelihoods due to this catastrophe. 

With the third anniversary of the devastating explosion upon us, anger mounts due to the political blockade that shrouds the judicial investigation, effectively obstructing any attempts to reopen the path to justice.

The state of anticipation and concern over the judicial process freeze is not confined solely to the families of the victims and the majority of the solidarity-driven Lebanese population. The international community is equally affected, as several Western nations, particularly France, whose citizens fell victim to the blast, scrutinize the entirety of the Lebanese judiciary. 

They continue to send inquiries about the reasons behind the investigation's paralysis and question the actions of Judge Bitar while awaiting the resolution of the lawsuits filed against him.

Informed sources within the Palace of Justice in Beirut indicate that the lead investigator, who remains confined to his residence, "is meticulously studying the case files." 

These sources, who seek to dispel the gloomy atmosphere, told Asharq Al-Awsat that "the investigation will proceed and reach the conclusion sought by the families of the victims and all Lebanese citizens."
 

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Tarek Bitar

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