Beirut port blast investigator Tarek Bitar has been authorized to restart his investigation following a month-long suspension due to legal accusations against him, judicial sources say.
A Beirut court ruled that Bitar may proceed with his investigation of high-ranking officials earlier last week.
The legal proceedings against the blast in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, that killed more than 215 people, wounded hundreds, and demolished huge parts of the city, has made little progress due to strong forces that have started a legal battle against Bitar and launched various cases against him.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s cabinet has been unable to convene since October 12 because of the escalating conflict, resulting from Hezbollah’s leader calling for Bitar’s removal from the case.
Many Lebanese are furious that no top official has been held accountable for the blast in more than a year since the event, which took place in the midst of a political and economic crisis.
Bitar has been attempting to interview key politicians, including former ministers and members of parliament, but he has been met with resistance for the last several months while doing so.
Bitar is the second judge to take up the investigation’s leadership after his predecessor Fady Sawan was dismissed from office in February after a legal complaint alleging bias on his part.