Judge Aoun Enters Mecattaf Firm as Supporters Scuffle with ISF
Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun managed Wednesday to enter the offices of the Mecattaf money exchange firm in Awkar, after bringing workers to break open a metallic gate, as minor scuffles erupted outside between her supporters and the Internal Security Forces.
Al-Jadeed TV said metal workers who left the firm confirmed that they managed to break open “the internal gate leading to the room containing the data.”
Lawyer and activist Rami Ollaiq, who has supported the judge in her actions and several raids on the firm’s offices, meanwhile told al-Jadeed that Aoun “has started a session for receiving the remaining data.”
According to the National News Agency, the judge left the company's offices in the evening, taking with her computers and files.
Earlier in the day, the firm had prevented the judge from entering its offices, arguing that she is not in charge of the file anymore, the National News Agency said.
Supporters of the judge had earlier removed an outer gate of the firm to help her get inside in her car, after which security forces arrived and pushed them away from the company’s premises.
The development comes a day after the Higher Judicial Council asked the Judicial Inspection Board to look into Aoun’s controversial actions while asking her to abide by the state prosecutor’s decisions.
The Council added that the Inspection Board will question Aoun over “her breach of the obligation of reticence, her failure to honor her repeated pledges before the Council, her refrainment from appearing before the public prosecution, and her stances and behavior after the state prosecutor issued a decision redistributing tasks at the Mt. Lebanon prosecution.”
The Council also reassured that any probe in any judicial file will be continued until the end by the relevant judicial authorities regardless of the identity of the judge in charge and regardless of any non-judicial considerations, urging all judges to “always honor their oaths” and to “respect the rule of law.”
State Prosecutor Gahssan Oueidat had recently removed Aoun from investigations into suspected violations by the Mecattaf money exchange company. Accompanied by State Security agents, Aoun had carried out several raids on the company’s offices in Awkar last week, defying Oueidat’s decision.