Its name is the work of Lebanon. You know the judge who “enraged” Hezbollah

Since the investigation into the Beirut port explosion has entered the stage of interrogating political and security officials, and in Particularly since last July, the forensic investigator Tariq Bitar has been at the forefront of the domestic scene in Lebanon, and his name has become “a lot” of political discourse.

While the question of the “waiver of immunities” was the first clash between him and the ruling class, in particularly Hezbollah and the Amal movement, which refused to lift the immunity of former ministers and security officials, the defendants wanted to question them.

The confrontation intensified when he started issuing quotes in trial and arrest warrants in default against these officials, who refused to appear under the pretext of “incompetence”.

The clash culminated in the violent attack launched by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, citing him by name, asking the Council of Ministers and the Supreme Council of the Judiciary to change it and find a solution, which raised questions about the background to the escalation of the party against it and what do you fear?

Hezbollah’s message to the judicial investigator

Hezbollah did not settle for treason campaigns and accusations against Judge Bitar, but also sent him a “threatening” message via the Liaison and Coordination Unit official, Wafiq Safa, to “eradicate him”, “because he is politicized. and acts with discretion. “

A few days after the threat of “his hat”, last Thursday Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal Movement, made a move in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice to demand the removal of Judge Bitar, which ended with bloody violence in the Tayouneh-Chiyah-Ain al-Remmaneh triangle, with 7 dead and dozens injured.

Its name is the work of Lebanon.  You know the judge who “enraged” Hezbollah
Families of the victims of the Beirut attack (archive – AFP)

Who is this judge?

Last February, Bitar received the file from the investigation into the explosion of the port of Beirut in as a judicial investigator, succeeding Judge Fadi Sawan, whom the Criminal Court of Cassation had ordered to dismiss him, after accepting a lawsuit that required him after asking for the interrogation of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three former ministers .

But the irony is that Bitar himself was initially proposed to take over the investigation, but quickly turned down the mission “for personal and family considerations,” as was quoted at the time. However, he returned and took “help” from the investigation after Sawan was filed, even though his colleagues had warned him that it was a “suicide mission”.

From the protest of Hezbollah and Amal supporters in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice (Reuters)
From the protest of Hezbollah and Amal supporters in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice (Reuters)

Serious and non-confrontational

In this context, the former head of the Shura State Council, Shukri Sader, confirmed to that “Tareq Bitar is known among his peers as serious, non-confrontational in his presence, speaking little and not favoring the apparitions on media. . “

What made him “distinct” in his judicial career, according to Sader, was “his presidency of the Beirut Criminal Court at a speed record, compared to his colleagues who are still judges in appeal”.

His courage is an example for his colleagues

Furthermore, Sadir praised Bitar’s work, despite all the political charges against him, considering that he proved to be a courageous judge, which was evident when he received a threat to “hit his hat” from his position, and the his reply was “Beamon (in referring to the officer of the Liaison and Coordination Unit in the Allah Wafiq Safa party) and completed his investigation as if nothing had happened. With his courage, he became a model for his colleagues in the judiciary. “

He also saw: “The battle today is between the rule of law represented by the Bitar, which constitutes 80 percent of Lebanese, and the regime of the law of the jungle, which is reinforced by weapons”, adding that so far control is under. check. the law of the jungle, according to the facts on the ground.

He also considered that “Bitar accepted the concern (the port investigation) and the concern did not accept it”, asking, “What do they want? They initially rejected the international investigation, so why are they rejecting the local investigation today?”

Hezbollah and Amal supporters protest against Beirut blast judicial investigator, Judge Tariq Bitar (Associated Press)
Hezbollah and Amal Supporters Demonstrate Against Judicial Investigator in Beirut Blast, Judge Tariq Bitar (Associated Press)

Sober and quick to judge

Similarly, one of his colleagues from the Lebanese Judges’ Club confirmed to that “Tareq Bitar is an honest and discreet judge and is distinguished by speed in deciding the files he handles. He spent long hours in his office when he was transferred to the criminal court.”

Bitar has held the position of President of the Beirut Criminal Court since 2017. During his tenure as president of the court, he took in considers a number of major criminal cases that have occupied public opinion, including murder, drug trafficking and human trafficking, and some of the decisions issued by his court have been described as rigorous.

The most important problem

Perhaps the most important issue that made his name widely known in Lebanon was the ruling he issued in May of questyear in the case of a Lebanese girl whose fingers were amputated due to a medical error. He issued a sentence to pay the parties who induced the damage an amount of one billion Syrian pounds (approximately $ 650,000) to the girl’s family, as well as a monthly salary for her life, which has sparked outrage in the medical sector.

Port of Beirut (Associated Press)
Port of Beirut (Associated Press)

shy judge

As the Lebanon Judges Club colleague, a person close to Bitar, with reservations about the name, pointed out that he is “a shy judge, who always speaks calmly to his interlocutors. Even when he was inside the courtroom, he was kind to those accused of crimes and asked what they wanted and asked to guarantee their requests ”.

What distinguishes this judge, according to him, is his rejection of any form of political interference in the files he was in charge of.

He also insured in Al that “Bitar, born in the city of Aidmon in the governorate of Akkar (in 1974), has a strong personality, does not give in to pressure and exercises complete independence”.

Judge Atreq Bitar (AFP)
Judge Atreq Bitar (AFP)

Voyage in France

Also, one of the people close to him mentioned him, “that he plans to go in France and join his brother there, who communicates with him daily, after completing the investigation into the explosion of the port of Beirut, which he considers the greatest success in his judicial career ».

It is announced that the Supreme Council of the Judiciary will deliver it, next Thursday, to Bitar, including information on the direction of the Council and the Minister of Justice, to refer the judge to judicial inspection “as a prelude to his removal from the file.”

If this has happened, it means that the political authority and Hezbollah have managed to undermine the independence of the judiciary and thus deprive the Lebanese of the right to know who blew up their capital port on August 4, 2020, and who brought the deadly. load of ammonium nitrate.

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