As their attempts failed to remove Judge Tarek Bitar from the Beirut Blast, Amal’s deputies Ghazi Zaiter and Ali Hassan Khalil, who are suspects in this case, are going after Judge Nassib Elia for dismissing their appeal.
Their defense lawyers have now submitted a request to the Civil Court of Appeal to dismiss Judge Elia who is studying their second request to dismiss Judge Bitar.
This is a new attempt by Zeaiter and Khalil in their relentless attempt to avoid being questioned and stop the work of the judicial investigator over this high-profile case.
Last month, Zeaiter, Khalil, and Al-Machnouk filed lawsuits at the Court of Appeal in response to the judicial investigator, Judge Bitar.
The case was referred to Chamber 12, headed by Judge Nassib Elia, and a unanimous decision was issued to dismiss the case in form due to the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
Later on the 28th of the same month, Khalil and Zeaiter submitted the same case to the Court of Appeal, and it was referred again to Chamber 12.
However, this time, the two deputies are responding to a request by Judge Elia to be questioned by attempting to stop him and having him dismissed.
The Beirut Blast is the highest-profile case Lebanon has ever seen. It involves the country’s high-ranked officials, whether by negligence or by corruption, from the time the ship was allowed to unload its dangerous cargo in the port to the time of the explosion.
It has also developed as such after the explosion, with top officials refusing to be questioned and fighting the judiciary, further involving themselves in the case.
Other than the use of legal means by these officials to stop Judge Bitar from investigating them, Hezbollah had also used intimidation and threats, as well as protests along with Amal, the last of which turned violent and deadly.
Back in September, the head of Hezbollah‘s Internal Security, Wafiq Safa, even threatened Judge Bitar in a letter stating that they (Hezbollah) will remove him by force if the legal path doesn’t work.
Despite the tremendous pressure on him, Judge Bitar has no intention to back down. He met with the families of the victims on November 3rd and reassured them that the intimidations will not cause him to abandon the investigation.