The lead judge investigating the deadly explosion at the Port of Beirut last summer has been granted permission to prosecute Lebanon’s internal security chief, Abbas Ibrahim.
On Friday, the country’s caretaker Interior Minister, Mohamed Fahmy, said he would allow judge Tarek Bitar to interrogate Ibrahim.
Bitar’s predecessor Fadi Sawan was ousted from the investigation in February after complaints were filed by two ministers charged with negligence over the blast.
The judge has also asked for permission to question interim Prime Minister Hassan Diab and state security chief Tony Saliba, according to the National News Agency. He requested that parliamentary immunity be lifted for three former ministers charged by his predecessor so that they could be questioned.
Bitar said he was also pressing charges against four former army generals, two of whom are retired.
More than 200 people were killed after 3,000 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate stored in poor conditions in the Port of Beirut blew up on August 4, 2020. The blast injured more than 6,000 people and destroyed swathes of the Lebanese capital, which was already suffering due to the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
Dates for the questioning of Diab and other officials have not yet been set.
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