Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Friday it had filed slander lawsuits against an ex-parliamentarian and a political party who allegedly claimed the Shiite militant group are responsible for the devastating Beirut Port explosion
´Hezbollah’s legal representative Ibrahim Mussawi said the accusations, leveled by former independent parliamentarian Fares Souaid and the website of the right-wing Lebanese Forces party, were misleading.
“The accusations directed at Hezbollah over the port blast are false and constitute a real injustice,” Hezbollah lawmaker Ibrahim al-Moussawi said, announcing that lawsuits have been “officially” filed against them over the allegations.
Speaking to reporters outside the judicial court in Beirut, the Hezbollah MP said the Shiite movement would file more lawsuits in the future. He added that blaming the group threatens to disrupt social peace in Lebanon, at a time when the United States is exerting maximum pressure on his party and its allies.
“We have assigned a group of lawyers to file lawsuits with the judiciary to pursue all those who have practiced deception, falsification, slander, and false accusations,” he issued.
Lebanon has launched an investigation into the disastrous explosion, but no conclusion on who’s responsible has yet been reached.
Currently, all that is known by the public is that the massive August 4th blast was caused by nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrates, carelessly stored at a port warehouse for six years.
The blast killed more than 200 people and wounded over 6,000, as well as extensively damaging multiple neighborhoods in the city.
Some of Hezbollah’s political opponents and civilians have since blamed the group for storing the explosive chemicals at the port. Hezbollah is the only group that kept its weapons after Lebanon’s civil war ended in 1990 and is believed to have ammunition warehouses around the country.
However, the claim was dismissed by Hezbollah’s leader. No evidence has emerged to link the explosive chemicals to the group, or to any entity or anyone whatsoever.
“When the US administration’s main concern and daily bread is to go after Hezbollah and attempt to pressure governments to put it on the terrorism list, you’d gather that there are tools inside and outside that help with that,” Mussawi said.
There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese Forces party.
Mussawi said he also plans to press charges against Bahaa Hariri, the son of late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who is living in exile.
Meanwhile, while the party prepares to use the judiciary against all its accusers, its leader Hassan Nasrallah has left Lebanon for Iran, reportedly for an indefinite time.