The families of the victims of the Beirut port explosion threatened to escalate their movements, demanding the support of the judicial investigator, Judge Tariq Al-Bitar, and denouncing what they said was “an attempt by the authority to manipulate the law and overthrow it, and announced that they would demand an international investigation if the stalemate and threats continued and the case was diluted.”
The people staged a protest sit-in yesterday morning (Monday), during which they closed the roads and entrances to the Palace of Justice in Beirut, raising the Lebanese flag and pictures of the martyrs and banners denouncing the “corrupt political authority and state officials in order to dilute the investigation file and manipulate the rotten law and (uproot) Justice Judge Tariq Bitar. A former Hezbollah official also threatened, arguing that “no one is immune when 218 martyrs are killed, 5,600 wounded, half of the capital Beirut is destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of citizens are displaced.” And they called for “the support of Judge Tariq Al-Bitar in his work, because he is entrusted with all the Lebanese to reveal the facts and punish the criminal perpetrators from whatever side they belong to.” In the words of a number of activists and protesters, they demanded “the appointment of members to the Court of Cassation to begin the investigation work and not evade accountability, or else measures will be taken by the people with dire consequences, while the authority applies the law to the poor wherever they are, while completely avoiding partisans and this is what The law of the law of the jungle,” considering that “the authority is responsible, whether through negligence, negligence, ignoring and covering up the crime of the age and the disaster of the largest explosion in modern history that afflicted Lebanon and Beirut, and the fall of hundreds of victims and thousands of injuries.” And they declared that “if the stagnation and threats continue and the case is diluted, they will resort to calling for an international investigation. It suffices wasting time by resorting sometimes to political immunities and sometimes to accusing Judge Bitar of discretion or politicization and other obstacles in order to stop his hand and end the investigation, which has become clear to the Lebanese people.”
In a statement to them, the people called on “the honorable judiciary to stop this farce and find a solution to it, even if it is forced to impose heavy fines on those who resubmit requests for response, which would stop them at their limit or in another way, because it is clear that these criminals invented a way to obstruct justice and we began to see the same The approach in other cases,” stressing “that circulating the memoranda issued by the judiciary is not enough, but the security forces must implement them.”
And they demanded the “appointment of a new judge to complete the quorum of the General Authority of the Court of Cassation so that it can continue its work,” declaring that “continuing to evade accountability in our case will push us to take unimaginable steps, and we will start preparing for a judicial disobedience that will force the accused to submit to the law.” And they addressed the judicial investigator by saying: “Continue, O judge, for the blood of the martyrs is a trust in your hands, and you do not listen to the heresies of the weak-minded, for they implement a partisan agenda and represent only themselves.”
The outcry of the people comes with the continuation of the investigation and the constant pressure on Judge Bitar, which aims to stop his work, and in addition to the response lawsuits filed by the deputies against Bitar refusing to submit to the investigation, the vacuum came in the General Authority of the Court of Cassation after referring the head of one of its chambers to retirement, which made it lose the quorum. Four of his colleagues had preceded him in retirement more than a year ago, without appointing original presidents to replace them.