Oueidat says his move was to avoid 'bloodshed on the streets'


State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat has said that his latest controversial procedures that defied Judge Tarek Bitar’s measures in the port blast case were aimed at “avoiding bloodshed on the streets.”

“I prevented blood on the streets, but I don’t know if I’ve only postponed it should the situation continue as it is,” Oueidat said, in remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published Friday.

Denying that he has “recused” himself from his “jurisdiction,” Oueidat stressed that he is “the state prosecutor who is in charge of the entire file” and that his powers are “ultimate.”

“I prosecute and I do not get prosecuted,” a defiant Oueidat added.

“As for Judge Tarek Bitar, he has no designation and he is inept to continue the mission from which he has been recused. How can he stand in front of the mirror and take a decision with himself?” the prosecutor added, referring to Bitar’s decision to resume his probe following a legal study that he himself conducted, in which he defied dozens of recusal requests filed against him by accused politicians and other parties.

“All those who have been misled must know that Bitar has no right to return to the file and resume the work that he left 13 months ago except after decisions are issued by the general commission and the courts of cassation on all the complaints,” Oueidat went on to say.

He added: “This investigative judge now needs an investigative judge into his violations and this is the mission of the first president of the Court of Cassation, the Higher Judicial Council chief, and I hope he will not be late in addressing the issue.”

Oueidat has filed charges against Bitar and ordered the release of all suspects, after the later resumed his probe, charged eight more suspects in the case and ordered the release of only five detainees.

The Aug. 4, 2020 explosion of hundreds of tons of highly flammable ammonium nitrate, a material used in fertilizers, killed 218 people, injured over 6,000 and damaged large parts of Beirut.

The release of the port probe detainees drew protests from family members of those killed in the blast.

Lebanon's highest judicial body, the Higher Judicial Council, was scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the developments. Advocates for Bitar, who include many of the families of the blast victims, feared the council would issue a decision to remove Bitar from the probe, but the session was canceled due to a lack of quorum. Oueidat was in the building but failed to join the council and stayed in his office guarded by armored security forces, who later escorted him out amid protests.

Comments 4
Thumb ex-fpm 27 January 2023, 13:38

I see... so 'justice' can be forsaken because it will not be well received by thugs and criminals. What this man just said proves Lebanon is ruled by a mafia and illegal weapons.

Missing samiam 27 January 2023, 17:25

WHat a piece of work--

“I prosecute and I do not get prosecuted"

and that explains why despite all of the problems in this county not a single MP, judge or minister has been charged with anything. He is just working on protecting them.

I wish the EU and US would not only put sanctions on this guy, but throw him out of any organization he is affiliated with. And also the minister of 'justice' who would have controlled things and fired this guy or at least put him on the sidelines.

Thumb i.report 27 January 2023, 20:28

He could have said, for the same price, l’7arame ma byinsara2.

He robbed the victims, half Beirut , of any form of actual justice.

In my much humble opinion, he and his loved ones should hang.

Missing gabriel01 28 January 2023, 01:38

So many disgusting people in the Lebanese government. And people wonder why the country is going to hell