Judge Bitar Postponed All Interrogations Of Beirut Blast Suspects

Investigator Judge Tarek Bitar, who is leading the investigation into the Beirut port blast, has postponed all planned interrogations for this month.

“I postponed the session because the interest of the judicial investigation file requires cooperation between the investigator and the public prosecution, which is currently inexistent and should be resolved, and when it gets resolved I will resume my work,” Judge Bitar told MTV.

A session with Ghazi Zaiter and Nouhad Machnouk was scheduled for today, but has been postponed.

Bitar explained that the interest of the investigation requires cooperation between himself and the public prosecution, which is currently not present.

He stated that he will resume his work once the situation is resolved and a final format for the relationship between the investigative judge and the public prosecution has been established.

Bitar recently resumed his investigation into the Beirut port explosion after a 13-month hiatus. He has charged eight new suspects, including high-level security officials and Lebanon’s top prosecutor, Ghassan Oueidat.

The judge’s move has sparked a judicial battle with Oueidat who retaliated by charging the judge with “usurping power” and insubordination and imposed a travel ban as well as filing lawsuits against him.

Bitar has refused to step down and says that Oueidat has no authority to intervene in the case. Bitar’s decision to resume the investigation was based on a legal review that he conducted himself.

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