SBI | Anadolu Agency/Houssam Shbaro
The lawsuit was filed by sitting MP Zaiter’s and Khalil’s attorneys to the Civil Court of Cassation, only hours after Judge Bitar issued an arrest warrant for Khalil.
The former Finance Minister failed to show up to his scheduled interrogation on Tuesday, sending his lawyer Mohammad al-Mughraby instead, the National News Agency reported.
Judge Bitar was scheduled to interrogate former Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk and Zaiter on October 13th, and former Prime Minister Hassan Diab on October 28th – all of which is now postponed indefinitely.
The request is part of a long list of tactics used by the political establishment to derail the investigation. Multiple requests to dismiss Judge Bitar have been submitted since he took over the case in February.
His predecessor, Judge Fadi Sawan was dismissed using similar tactics in December 2020, including threats. Similarly, Judge Bitar hasn’t been spared; smear campaigns and threats.
Concerned politicians have claimed the judges are biased and criticized the investigation for getting politicized.
The pressure on Judge Bitar has been increasing since it was made public in July that he is aiming to submit the final results by early October.
“Have you questioned President Michel Aoun or former President Michel Sleiman,” he asked. He also criticized the move to go after Hassan Diab instead of former premiers.
Thus any attack on Diab is considered an attack on all three parties. Former premiers have been the staunch opposition and allies of former premier Saad Hariri.
Nasrallah ended his speech saying the probe’s focus is wrong, and won’t be accepted for long.
In a televised statement on Monday, Hezbollah’s MP Hassan Ezzedine said that “the full story” of the ammonium nitrate will be soon made public, leading to believe that Hezbollah seems to know “the full story” or will soon claim one.
In context, Nasrallah had claimed back in August that the Ammonium Nitrate was stored in the port to be smuggled to Syrian rebel forces, hinting at Saad Hariri’s Future Movement that openly opposes Al-Assad’s regime.