Lebanese MPs try to circumvent questioning in port blast probe

port mps questioning lebanese blast
Lebanon

Lebanese MPs try to circumvent questioning in port blast probe

BEIRUT--A number of deputies in the Lebanese parliament are trying to circumvent the judicial investigations into the Beirut port blast, by having the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers  prosecute the three MPs wanted for questioning in the port explosion. Earlier, Tarek Bitar, the Lebanese judge leading the investigation into last year’s massive explosion at Beirut’s port, rejected the joint request of  parliament’s Bureau and the Administration and Justice Committee, to obtain additional documents relating to MPs Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghazi Zaiter and Nohad al-Machnouk, as a precondition for the lifting of their immunity and their questioning as defendants in the Beirut port explosion. Confronted with judge Bitar’s position, a number of deputies and parliamentary blocs collected signatures on a petition calling for the prosecution of MPs (who are former ministers) wanted for questioning in the port blast probe, by the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers, based on Law 13 issued in 1990. The petition stipulates that in such a trial of ministers the evidence is to be withdrawn from the judicial investigator and passed to the Supreme Council consisting of ten parliamentarians and eight judges, all of whom have not yet been…