Monday, December 06, 2021

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Controversy in Lebanon over jurisdiction to prosecute leaders

Controversy in Lebanon over jurisdiction to prosecute leaders

Beirut, Nov 22 (Prensa Latina) The controversy on Monday continues in Lebanon regarding who has jurisdiction to prosecute the former prime minister and other former ministers for the explosions at Beirut's port in August 2020.
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President Michel Aoun is making contacts with party chiefs to ensure the resumption of the government sessions and resolve the crisis with Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula countries.

“Aoun communicated with Hezbollah in an attempt to soften positions and avoid the boycott by the Shiite Muslim ministers to the cabinet’s meetings”, states a note from the presidential office.

The two ministers of that religious denomination decline to participate in protest, so they consider politicization of the investigation about the detonation of the port terminal.

Probe Judge Tarek Bitar summoned former head of Government Hassan Diab and former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, and former Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter, to testify in the case, but all of them refused and filed lawsuits.

The lawsuits are part of a campaign to prevent those responsible for the explosion from coming to light, in which more than 200 people were killed and some 6,500 were injured.

The three former ministers accused Bitar of bias and politicizing the process.

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