The families of victims stood somberly on the 5-month anniversary of the August 4 Beirut Port Explosion. Silence filled the air where one of the largest peacetime non-nuclear explosions in history took place.
On August 4th, an investigative committee was appointed to look into the disastrous blast and submit its findings in 5 days. It is now 5 months later, and a probe into the blast has gone nowhere.
However, upon the 5-day deadline, the committee reportedly submitted its findings to the Cabinet. It had included a list of at least 20 names, including several ministers.
Until now, only three former ministers and the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, have been charged with negligence over the blast.
Diab, who resigned in the wake of the blast, was dumbfounded by the head judge’s decision to charge him and responded with noncompliance.
This has led to an argument by former PMs that if Diab were to be charged then Lebanese President Michel Aoun is equally responsible. After all, Aoun himself admitted to knowing about the chemical material at the port before the explosion.
The blast did not spare children, women, firefighters, doctors, port workers, grandparents, mothers, fathers, migrant workers, expats, foreign diplomats, rich, poor, and the list goes on. The call for justice and accountability has neither quivered nor subsided.
However, 5 months after the blast, and the investigation has been temporarily suspended. That is the doing of two of the indicted former ministers who have requested for the removal of investigative judge Fadi Sawan from the case.