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Legal complaints hinder probe into Lebanon’s blast

Beirut, Nov 26 (Prensa Latina) The legal complaints on Friday hinder the continuity of the investigation into last year's explosion at the main Lebanon's port, while the families of the blast victims called on to allow the probe to resume.

A demonstration in front of the Palace of Justice condemned what is called intentional obstruction of the probe and expressed in a message: “We are sick of waiting.”

Earlier this month, Lebanon’s investigation into the August 2020 explosion led by Judge Tarek Bitar was suspended for the third time because of a deluge of legal challenges.

The suspension entered a fourth week, the longest since Bitar took over the case in February, replacing his predecessor who was removed through a court order.

Bitar’s investigation has faced at least 15 lawsuits, each questioning the course of the probe, describing it as biased and politicized.

At the heart of the legal quagmire is criticism from senior Lebanese officials, accused of negligence due to the improper storage of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, which caused the disaster.

As a result of the explosion, some 215 people were killed, 6,500 were injured and some 300,000 have had their homes totally or partially damaged.