BEIRUT: On Thursday, Lebanon’s lead prosecutor into the tragic Beirut port explosion charged outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers with incompetence, a judiciary source reported.
They are the first officials to be prosecuted for the catastrophic explosion of Aug. 4 that killed over 200 people, disfigured the heart of the city, and unleashed a surge of public outrage against the ruling class of Lebanon.
“In the first such official indictment against a prime minister in office in Lebanese history, the judicial source said the four were charged with negligence and causing death to hundreds and injury to thousands more.
Top security officials and lawmakers emerged after the explosion, and for years they had heard about hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser haphazardly deposited at Beirut port, but had refused to take precautionary steps.
Judge Fadi Sawan’s decision came after the inquiry revealed that the perpetrators had received a number of written notes advising them against delaying the disposal of ammonium nitrate fertiliser,’ the source added.
“They also did not take the measures necessary to prevent the devastating explosion and its enormous damage,” the source said.
Diab, who promised to resign in the aftermath of the Aug. 4 blast, had already testified in September before Sawan.