Lebanese court removes lead Beirut blast investigator

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IslamNews – A Lebanese court on Thursday removed the judge leading the investigation into the Beirut port explosion, a move likely to further delay a probe that has faced fierce political pushback.

Judge Fadi Sawan in December charged three ex-ministers and the outgoing prime minister with negligence over the August explosion, which compounded Lebanon’s economic meltdown.

But the officials snubbed Sawan when he sought to question them before deciding whether they should be formally indicted, accusing him of overstepping his powers. He also faced criticism from Shi’ite Hezbollah and former Sunni premier Saad al-Hariri.

The court of cassation decided to remove Sawan from the case on Thursday after a request from two of the former ministers he charged, Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter.

Sawan’s charges were the first filed against top politicians over the blast. Victims and lawyers have said the judge showed courage in a country where few in authority have ever been held to account.

Source: Reuters

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