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Anger in Lebanon over suspension of port blast investigation

Beirut, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Anger continues this Tuesday in Lebanon over the suspended investigation into the explosion in Beirut's port, in which more than 200 people were killed and some 6,500 were injured.

Dozens of citizens, included relatives of the victims, often block the way to the Palace of Justice to support Judge Tarek Bitar, who is obstructed in his work as chief investigator.

The demonstrators carry signs with images of politicians, whom they accuse of protecting corrupt and negligent persons, and those responsible for the August 4, 2020 explosion.

Bitar has repeatedly paralyzed the investigation due to lawsuits filed by officials to avoid his appearance in court.

The lawsuits filed by former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and former Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter are the ones slowing down the investigation.

Human rights groups and relatives of the victims warn that the repeated suspensions are a prelude to Bitar’s dismissal, as a result of which the culprits of the explosion would go unpunished.

pgh/iff/jha/arc

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