Lebanon’s Acting Prime Minister, Former Ministers Charged Over Beirut Blast

A judicial investigator in Lebanon has filed charges against Acting Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers over the massive explosion at a port in Beirut last Aug. 24 that killed over 200 people.

A judicial investigator in Lebanon has filed charges against Acting Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers on Dec. 10 over the massive explosion at a port in Beirut last Aug. 24 that killed over 200 people.

According to the Lebanese state-owned National News Agency, Judge Fadi Sawan has charged Diab, former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, and former Public Works Ministers Ghazi Zeaiter and Youssef Finianos with negligence over the Beirut port explosion “that caused death and harm to hundreds of people.”

Diab rejected the accusation and said that Sawan violated the constitution and bypassed the parliament.

“The Prime Minister’s conscience is clear. He is confident that his hands are clean and that he has handled the Beirut Port blast file in a responsible and transparent manner. Hassan Diab will not allow the Premiership to be targeted by any party,” a statement from Diab’s office said.

Khalil also stated in a tweet that the accusations were in “violation of the constitution and the law.” He also said he had no role in the case.

“We have always been under the roof of the law and its principles, and we trust in ourselves and in our exercise of our responsibility,” Khalil also said.

National News Agency reported that Sawan is set to interrogate the four accused next week.

The detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate poorly stored for years at the Beirut port, which security officials and politicians knew, is believed to have been the cause of the blast that has injured thousands and left around 300,000 homeless.


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