Friday February 23, 2024

Beirut blast judge postpones interrogations over dispute

February 07, 2023

BEIRUT: The Lebanese judge leading the investigation into the deadly 2020 Beirut port explosion said on Monday he has postponed questioning of officials over a dispute with the country´s top prosecutor.

Judge Tarek Bitar resumed his probe last month after a 13-month hiatus amid vehement political and legal pushback, which now threatens to derail the investigation once again. Reopening the case, he had charged several senior former and incumbent officials, including Prosecutor General Ghassan Oueidat. Oueidat retaliated by charging the judge with “usurping power” and insubordination, and slapped Bitar with a travel ban.

Bitar told reporters on Monday he has postponed all interrogations planned for February due to the “lack of cooperation” from the prosecutor´s office, without setting new dates.