Families of Beirut Blast victims are preparing lawsuits against Judge Habib Mezher, who was recently appointed in the Court of Appeals.
Mezher, who is said to be connected to the ministers under investigation in the Beirut Blast case, has reportedly overstepped his assignment and role.
Appointed to the file of recusals against Judge Nassib Elia, Mezher has been trying to include the recusal requests against the lead investigator into the Beirut Blast, Judge Tarek Bitar.
He went further, demanding from Judge Bitar the Beirut Blast investigation file, which is supposed to be strictly confidential to the investigation team.
The activist anti-corruption group of lawyers United for Lebanon (UFL), known as Moutahidoun, has already filed a lawsuit this week as well, requesting the recusal of Judge Mezher.
UFL stated that the lawsuit came after suspicions regarding Mezher’s motives, and his connection with the former ministers Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter who had filed these lawsuits against Judge Bitar.
Mezher was appointed by Justice Minister Henry Khoury after consultation with Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, head of the Amal Movement to which the former ministers in question belong.
Mezher hence became part of the Court of Appeals earlier in October, along with 3 other judges.
He then proceeded to review the recusal requests against Judge Bitar and asked the latter to give him the Beirut Blast investigation file for review.
The Court of Appeals has clarified that Mezher wasn’t appointed on the recusal file against Judge Bitar, but on the recusal file against Judge Nassib Elia, which is a separate file.
Judge Nassib Elia is in charge of looking into the recusal suits against Judge Bitar.
Judge Bitar’s investigation was halted again this week when ex-Minister Fenianos filed another lawsuit against the judge.
That’s the latest among over a dozen lawsuits filed against Judge Bitar since October 2021 to stop him from continuing his investigation.
All these lawsuits were filed by ex-ministers summoned by Judge Bitar for questioning over the Beirut Blast. Among them are Ali Hassan Khalil, Nouhad al Mashnouk, and others.