Maronite Patriarch Says He Won’t Allow Beirut Port Blast To Go “Without Punishment”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi has expressed his support for Judge Tarek Bitar, who is currently investigating the Beirut port blast that occurred in August 2020.

Despite facing recusal lawsuits and a recent judicial standoff, Patriarch Al-Rahi has called on Bitar to “continue his work” in uncovering the truth behind the incident.

In his Sunday Mass sermon, Rahi stated, “We hope that Judicial Investigator Judge Tarek Bitar will continue his work to unveil the truth and issue the indictment.”

He also urged Bitar to seek assistance from any international authority that may help in uncovering the truth.

Rahi also expressed disappointment with the current state of the judiciary, stating that “the meetings of judicial bodies are witnessing a lack of quorum, with judges and public prosecutors defying the Higher Judicial Council and its head and refraining from attending the meetings.”

He added, “This is unacceptable! The judiciary has its mechanism and hierarchy.”

The patriarch also criticized some judges for their actions, stating, “They are rebelling against their authorities instead of rebelling against politicians.

They are overbidding against each other, impeding the investigations of each other, releasing suspects en masse, and arresting the relatives of the port victims.

He specifically targeted State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat in his remarks.

Rahi also decried the actions of some judges, stating, “They are undermining the norms of raiding, summoning and subpoenaing; reversing their rulings; bowing to those who have influence; violating sovereign laws; breaching the investigations’ confidentiality in front of foreign nations before knowing their true motives; implicating themselves in plots of grudges and vengeance; showing strength against the weak; showing weakness toward the strong; and smuggling foreign (dual national) detainees.”

Despite the challenges and setbacks facing the investigation, Rahi vowed that “We will not allow the port bombing crime to go without punishment, no matter how much time passes and how many rulers change.”