Ex-PMs Saad Hariri, Najib Miqati, Fouad Saniora and Tammam Salam warned Monday that “the arbitrary violation of the constitution would lead to a major flaw in the foundations of the Lebanese entity,” days after caretaker PM Hassan Diab was charged and summoned for questioning in the ongoing probe into the port disaster.
“The ex-PMs stress their keenness and full commitment to the stipulations of the constitution and underscore that neither them nor any person has an immunity in this regard…, seeing as the constitution is the protector and guarantor for all Lebanese,” they said after a meeting.
They however noted that according to articles 70 and 71 of the constitution, Diab should have been prosecuted by parliament and the Higher Council for the Prosecution of Presidents and Ministers, disputing Judicial Investigator Judge Fadi Sawwan’s suggestion that the type of the offense can be addressed by the country’s ordinary courts.
The former premiers also argued that President Michel Aoun, like Diab, had been notified of the danger posed by the ammonium nitrate shipment prior to the August 4 explosion.
“That’s why, as ex-PMs, we had called for an impartial investigation by an international panel of inquiry due to our fear that the Lebanese judiciary would be put under pressures aimed at procrastination, politicization, sectarianization and domestic blackmail,” they added.
“Once again we underline the need to conduct an impartial probe carried out by an international investigation commission,” the ex-PMs went on to say.