Lebanon’s Prosecutor General Ghassan Oweidat has pressed charges against 25 people, including senior port and customs officials and security officers, over the massive Beirut port blast that killed 172 people, a judicial source told Reuters on Friday.
It was not immediately clear what the exact charges were.
Legal sources said the suspects would now be referred to a criminal court to be tried.
The judicial source said 19 of them were detained following the Aug. 4 explosion at a warehouse that Lebanese authorities said housed highly-explosive material for years which detonated.
The explosion is believed to have been caused by a fire that ignited a 2,750-ton stockpile of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the port since 2013 with few safeguards despite numerous warnings of the danger.
The result was a disaster that the Lebanese people blame squarely on their leadership’s corruption and neglect. Losses from the explosion are estimated at $10 billion to $15 billion, with nearly 300,000 people left homeless.
President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Hassan Diab - whose government resigned Monday after public fury - and a host of officials had documents warning an explosion of the material could destroy Beirut. Aoun and Diab insisted they had referred the warning to the appropriate authorities.