The highly controversial figure in the Beirut Blast Investigation, Ali Hassan Khalil, was just reelected as a minister in the Lebanese parliament.
An Amal partisan and former Finance Minister, Khalil ran in the Amal-Hezbollah list “Hope and Loyalty” for the South III district and managed to secure himself a seat in the parliament again despite the arrest warrant against him pending execution by the unwilling authorities.
Back in July 2021, Khalil was charged along with former minister Ghazi Zeaiter, also an Amal deputy, by the initial investigative judge Fadi Sawan. They refused to respond to the summon and pushed for the judge’s removal from the case.
Judge Bitar took over and restarted the investigation, which eventually led him to issue a summon against Khalil who failed to appear for his questioning. Judge Bitar hence issued an arrest warrant for him in absentia in October 2021.
In November, after several failed attempts to remove Judge Tarek Bitar from the case, Khalil and Zaiter attempted to remove Judge Nassib Elia for dismissing their appeal against Judge Bitar.
In addition to the use of legal means by these officials, Amal and Hezbollah initiated protests for the removal of Jude Bitar, the last of which was on October 14th, 2021: the infamous deadly Tayyouneh Clashes.
Intimidation and threats were also used by Hezbollah against Judge Bitar to back off from these officials.
The Beirut Blast is the highest-profile case Lebanon has ever seen. The mass-murderous explosion killed over 234 innocent people, destroyed a major part of the capital, wounded thousands, and threw over 300,000 people homeless.
Ali Hassan Khalil, a suspect in that massive tragedy that occurred on August 4th, 2020, was simply allowed to run for parliament and will now be part of the ruling body and favor from parliamentary immunity.
All while the bereaved families of the victims continuously protest for justice and the trauma inflicted on thousands of people is still fresh.
It is to note that some Hezbollah electoral delegates were seen switching votes in polling stations during these elections.