Bitar Won’t Start Port Blast Investigation ‘from Zero’

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The new lead judicial investigator into the Beirut port blast, Judge Tarek al-Bitar, needs two more weeks to finish studying the file and devising his strategy for the investigations, informed judicial sources said.

“He will not start from zero as it is being said; he will rather resume work from the phase that Judge (Fadi) Sawwan had reached and from the information that he had accumulated throughout six months,” the sources told Kuwait’s al-Anbaa newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

“Everyone must be under the law and subject to accountability, and if any politician gets summoned and interrogated, this does not mean that they will be arrested. The investigator will be keen on holding accountable everyone proven to be negligent in the issue of storing and not removing the ammonium nitrates from the port, which led to the disaster,” the sources added.

“The important part of the investigation lies in holding accountable and trying all those who caused the port explosion, starting by the process of purchasing the nitrates from Georgia, shipping them and storing them in the port’s Hangar 12, and ending by determining the reasons and nature of the blast and whether it was premeditated or accidental,” the sources explained.

The sources also stressed that “the Lebanese judiciary is the party that can do justice to the victims and those affected by the port blast, not the international judiciary,” urging Lebanese to “trust their judiciary and await the result.”

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