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Nasrallah says Beirut blast probe selective and biased

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday decried anew the presence of what he called selectivity and politicization in the Beirut port blast probe as well as in the judiciary’s response to legal motions filed by the accused ex-PM and former ministers.

“The judicial decisions of the past two days confirm what we have been saying about selectivity and the current course won’t lead to truth and justice,” Nasrallah said in a televised address.

“Is there a judge today in the Lebanese judiciary who dares to take a decision to dismiss the investigative judge (Tarek Bitar)? There is a judge (Habib Mezher) who moved in that direction, but they threatened him and fought him,” Nasrallah added.

“What’s happening today is that the Lebanese judiciary is protecting each other,” Nasrallah noted, referring to judges who had received documents and complaints related to the ammonium nitrate ship and cargo in the years that preceded the catastrophic blast.

“All information indicates that the judges concerned with the Beirut port file (following the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship) are in the circle of suspicion,” Hizbullah’s leader went on to say.

He noted that the accused former officials have “resorted to the judicial authorities to rescue them from selectivity,” lamenting that “these judicial authorities are also subject to selectivity and politicization.”

The Court of Cassation on Thursday threw out two lawsuits submitted by ex-premier Hassan Diab and ex-interior minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq accusing Bitar of summoning them illegally. It ruled there was no evidence suggesting Bitar had committed any errors.

The same court also overturned two similar lawsuits filed by lawmakers Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zoaiter. Also on Thursday, the Criminal Court of Cassation rejected a lawsuit filed by ex-public works minister Youssef Fenianos that had demanded Bitar’s removal from the blast probe.

Turning to the issue of the file of the Tayyouneh-Ain al-Remmaneh deadly incidents, Nasrallah decried that the Military Court “has come under very huge pressure from political and religious sides.”

“Even those lecturing us to resort to the judiciary refused to go to the judiciary and some of the fugitives are present in Maarab and are being protected there so that they don’t get arrested,” Nasrallah charged.

Warning that “this is a dangerous behavior,” Hizbullah’s secretary-general warned, criticized certain religious and political sides who are “pressing for the release of the rest of the detainees.”

“This is disregard for the martyrs, their families and all the parties they belong to, and that this is insistence on the scheme of strife,” he cautioned.

He added that those sides must stop the alleged pressure and that “the judiciary must take its normal course.”

“Those who took part in the killings must be put on trial and continuing the current course is dangerous,” Nasrallah went on to say.

Source: Naharnet.com

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