Recent reports claimed that the judicial investigator leading the Beirut blast probe had a series of meetings at the presidential palace.
Claim: Judicial investigator Judge Tarek Bitar visited the presidential palace in Baabda and held several meetings with politicians and security officials.
Verdict: False. Judge Bitar has denied the claim.
The reports in question claimed that Judge Bitar had visited the Baabda Palace multiple times in the past month, the last of which was for a meeting with former Minister Salim Jreissati, who currently serves as Advisor to President Michel Aoun.
A claim has also surfaced that the judge had visited the palace and questioned State Security Chief Maj. Gen. Tony Saliba at Jreissati’s personal office.
However, in a statement on Monday, Bitar stressed that the news is “completely and utterly false.”
He called upon media institutions to “be careful” about publishing information related to the investigation into the Beirut explosion.
This comes a few days after reports that Judge Bitar intended to question President Aoun regarding his knowledge of the presence of ammonium nitrate at the Port of Beirut before August 4.