Judge Bitar was scheduled to interrogate former Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk and Zaiter on October 13th, and former Prime Minister Hassan Diab on October 28th – all of which is now postponed indefinitely.
The request is part of a long list of tactics used by the political establishment to derail the investigation. Multiple requests to dismiss Judge Bitar have been submitted since he took over the case in February.
His predecessor, Judge Fadi Sawan was dismissed using similar tactics in December 2020, including threats. Similarly, Judge Bitar hasn’t been spared; smear campaigns and threats.
Concerned politicians have claimed the judges are biased and criticized the investigation for getting politicized.
In context, Nasrallah had claimed back in August that the Ammonium Nitrate was stored in the port to be smuggled to Syrian rebel forces, hinting at Saad Hariri’s Future Movement that openly opposes Al-Assad’s regime.