Explosion in Beirut: justice decides to question former and current ministers

The damaged port after an explosion, in Beirut, August 12, 2020. REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis

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2 min

Lebanese President Michel Aoun estimated the damage cost of the double explosion that destroyed part of Beirut at $ 15 billion, leaving 171 dead and 6,500 injured. The investigation is continuing to try to determine the responsibilities in this disaster.


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With our correspondent in Beirut,  Paul Khalifeh

The justice decided to broaden the investigation to the political level, after questioning officials and officials of the security services.

From Friday, the prosecution will question ministers, former and current, about the presence since 2014 at the port of Beirut of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate , confiscated on a vessel from Georgia flying the Moldovan flag.

The interrogation will begin on Friday with a former Minister of Public Works Ghazi Aridi, close to the Druze leader Walid Joumblatt. Next week, at least three other ministers, including the current resigning Minister of Public Works, will be heard by the magistrates.

Former or current finance or justice ministers will also be convened.

If the justice has ordered the provisional detention of twenty employees or officials, including the directors of customs and port, it cannot do the same with the ministers.

These can only be tried by a special Council, responsible for prosecuting ministers and presidents, formed by Parliament. Special advice that has never judged anyone.

The protest movement calls for the abolition of this body, believing that it promotes corruption because it provides immunity to ministers and presidents, who cannot be tried by ordinary courts.

See also: Explosion in Beirut: a crying and angry crowd pays tribute to the victims

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  • Lebanon
  • Justice
  • Michel Aoun

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