Latest stories
Oueidat denies Bitar removal on agenda of Higher Judicial Council

State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat has denied that the Higher Judicial Council would discuss removing Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar from his post in the meeting that it will hold on Thursday.

In remarks to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Oueidat also said that he does not rule out that Bitar might “commit a lot of legal violations in the coming days, including the issuance of an in-absentia arrest warrant” against him and other judges.

W140 Full Story
Blast victims' relatives rally for embattled probe judge

Scores of protesters Thursday scuffled with riot police in Beirut as they tried to break into the Justice Palace.

Security was tight at the palace of justice in Beirut as activists and families of the port blast victims rallied in front of the Justice Palace ahead of a Higher Judicial Council to support the judge investigating the disaster.

W140 Full Story
'Even if it costs me my life': Bitar wants justice before blast anniversary

Lead investigator into the Beirut port blast Judge Tarek Bitar has told The Associated Press that he will go on with the investigation, “even if it is going to cost me my life" and hopes that there will be an indictment ahead of the third anniversary of the blast this coming August.

“I have nothing against Judge Oueidat but there are some suspicions that came up. He should come and defend himself,” Bitar said. “I will continue with the case and I will not leave it unless they remove me completely."

W140 Full Story
HRW, Amnesty Int'l call for UN fact-finding mission into port blast

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to "urgently pass a resolution to create an impartial fact-finding mission into the Beirut port explosion".

"It is patently clear that the Lebanese authorities are determined to obstruct justice," Amnesty's Aya Majzoub said in the joint statement, after Lebanon's top prosecutor in the politically charged case, Judge Ghassan Oueidat, charged Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar on Wednesday and summoned him for questioning on Thursday morning.

W140 Full Story
Bassil warns against 'bypassing' Christians in presidential vote

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil met with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Wednesday evening after which he warned against “bypassing the Christian component” in the presidential vote.

W140 Full Story
UNESCO lists Rachid Karameh International Fair as world heritage in danger

The United Nations on Wednesday inscribed a futurist park in cash-strapped Lebanon on its world heritage list.

The UN cultural agency listed the pask as a world heritage site in danger because of "its alarming state of conservation" and the lack of resources in Lebanon to maintain it.

W140 Full Story
All port detainees released as 'shocked' victims' families threaten protests

All detainees in the Beirut port blast case were released on Wednesday after State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat ordered their release in a move disputed by the lead investigator in the case Judge Tarek Bitar.

A picture circulated by media outlets showed Customs chief Badri Daher smiling in his home following his release. He had been detained on August 7, 2020, three days after the catastrophic blast which killed over 215 people, injured more than 6,500 and destroyed entire neighborhoods.

W140 Full Story
Bitar says won't step down from probe

The judge leading the investigation into Beirut's deadly 2020 port blast will not step down from the probe, he told AFP Wednesday, rejecting charges brought against him by Lebanon's prosecutor general.

"I am still the investigative judge and I will not step down from this case," Tarek Bitar said, adding that prosecutor general Ghassan Oueidat "has no authority to charge me".

W140 Full Story
Oueidat sues Bitar, orders release of all blast probe detainees

State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat on Wednesday charged Beirut port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar for "rebelling against the judiciary" and slapped him with a travel ban, a judicial official told AFP.

Oueidat said that he charged Bitar in order to "prevent sedition."

W140 Full Story
Report: 'Very important' decisions expected in port file within 24 hours

“Very important decisions” will be taken in the Beirut port blast file within 24 hours, a pro-Hezbollah journalist said on Wednesday.

“All eyes on the Justice Palace.. Very important decisions will be taken in the port file within 24 hours,” the journalist Salem Zahran tweeted.

W140 Full Story