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Beirut Blast: News Series of Arrests, Judicial Investigator Meets FBI Team

Beirut Blast: News Series of Arrests, Judicial Investigator Meets FBI Team

Tuesday, 25 August, 2020 - 10:45
Smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Judge Fadi Sawan, the judicial investigator in the Beirut port blast case, met on Monday with the FBI team that was dispatched to Lebanon to assess the latest findings into the massive explosion that rocked the city of Beirut on Aug. 4.


A senior judicial source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sawan has assigned the US team with new tasks and requested technical answers to be sent to him “as soon as possible” to make new decisions accordingly.


While the investigator did not yet receive any report from the French and Russian experts, who are assisting the Lebanese security and judicial services, the judicial sources noted that successive meetings would be held between these experts and Sawan to evaluate the latest studies on the causes of the explosion.


On Monday, the judicial investigator questioned the former director-general of the Lebanese Customs, Shafiq Merhi, in the presence of his attorney, in addition to Youssef Shebli, the contractor of welding works at warehouse No. 12, where the explosion took place. He also questioned an employee at the port, Mekhail Murr, and issued arrest warrants against the three of them.


The interrogations took place in the presence of lawyer Youssef Lahoud, representing the Beirut Bar Association, which is working on behalf of all the families of the victims, the injured, and those affected by the explosion.


Nine people have been so far arrested in the case, including the Customs Director General Badri Daher.


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