Cause Of Beirut Port Blast Should Be Made Public Within 2 Months

Cause Of Beirut Port Blast Should Be Made Public Within 2 Months
Freimut Bahlo

The technical phase of the investigation into the Beirut Port explosion is almost complete, judicial investigator Judge Tarek Bitar has revealed.

In a press conference held at the Justice Palace in Beirut on Thursday, Judge Bitar estimated that two more months would be needed “to clarify the causes of the explosion once and for all.”

In a few weeks, the stage of summoning defendants will begin, the Judge said, expressing confidence that the truth would be reached and those responsible for the explosion would be held accountable.

He revealed that the investigation is based on three hypotheses for the reason behind the blast:

  • A mistake in the welding process of Warehouse No. 12, which led to the outbreak of fire, and then the explosion
  • A deliberate security or terrorist act inside the port that caused the blast
  • Air targeting the port with a missile.

Without specifying, Bitar said that one of the hypotheses has been excluded by 80%, while work is underway to reach a conclusion between the remaining two.

The exclusion was made based on new data revealed by a French report that Judge Bitar recently received.

The investigator had announced on Monday that he had received “a very important” French report on the August 4 explosion, prepared by technical experts.

Asked whether officials and politicians found to be involved would be prosecuted, Judge Bitar said: “I will take all measures that the law allows me to take within the powers given to me, and there is no tent over the head of any person who has neglected or colluded.”

Notably, in a statement to L’Orient Today following the press conference, a judicial source quoted Judge Bitar as saying that the final results of the probe would be ready by the end of the year.

Bitar’s remarks come as the first anniversary of the devastating chemical explosion approaches.

The probe into the deadly blast was launched shortly after the incident ravaged Beirut, with a deadline of 5 days set for the results to be uncovered.

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Cause Of Beirut Port Blast Should Be Made Public Within 2 Months

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