Lebanon judge issues new arrest warrants over Beirut explosion

A general view of the scene of an explosion at the port of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, on Aug. 4. (AFP)

A Lebanese judge leading investigations into Beirut’s port blast issued two new arrest warrants on Friday, a judicial source told AFP.

“The investigating judge, Fadi Sawan, continued his investigations... and today issued two arrest warrants,” the source said.

According to the official National News Agency, the subjects of the warrants are Beirut’s customs authority director, Hanna Fares, and Nayla al-Hajj, an engineer contracted for maintenance work at warehouse 12, where the explosion took place.

A French soldier looks at his comrades removing the debris of a school playground roof that was destroyed by Aug. 4 explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut on Aug. 20, 2020. (AP)

A French soldier looks at his comrades removing the debris of a school playground roof that was destroyed by Aug. 4 explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut on Aug. 20, 2020. (AP)

A huge stock of ammonium nitrate stored unsecured for years in the rundown warehouse at the Lebanese capital’s port exploded on August 4.

The blast caused severe damage across swathes of the city, killed at least 181 people and injured more than 6,500.

Lebanon has launched an investigation into the disaster, which many have blamed on official negligence and corruption.

People clean debris from the street following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 9, 2020. (Reuters)

People clean debris from the street following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 9, 2020. (Reuters)

So far arrest warrants have been issued for six of the 25 people currently facing lawsuits over the blast, including Beirut Port director-general Hassan Koraytem and customs director-general, Badri Daher.

While authorities have rebuffed widespread calls for an international probe, Lebanon’s investigation is being aided by foreign experts, including from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

France, which counted among the dead several of its citizens, has launched its own enquiry.

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Last Update: Friday, 21 August 2020 KSA 18:52 - GMT 15:52
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