Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday lamented that “some judges are increasing suspicions over the judiciary by taking part in impeding, suspending or freezing the probe into the port bombing or by questioning the work of the investigative judge.”
His remarks are apparently targeted against Court of Appeals judge Habib Mezher who on Thursday suspended Judge Tarek Bitar’s probe in a controversial move. Mezher is reportedly close to Hizbullah and the Amal Movement, which are both strongly opposed to Bitar’s work.
“It is a crime when some judges turn the judiciary into partisan and sectarian squares, especially in the port and Ain al-Remmaneh cases,” al-Rahi decried in his Sunday Mass sermon.
He added: “In the face of the legal violations that we are witnessing, we wonder whether some judges act at the request of some officials, parties and sects.”
“What’s happening regarding the probe into the port bombing is really deplorable: an appeal after an appeal, a recusal request after a recusal request and a suspension after a suspension, as the souls of the martyrs wait, as the families of the martyrs wait and as the world waits,” the patriarch went on to say.
“Why is there such disregard for the blood of more than 200 victims and 6,000 wounded people, for the destruction of half of Beirut and its suburbs and for the displacement of hundreds of families?” al-Rahi wondered.