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Rahi: Political Class Controls Part of Lebanon’s Judiciary

Rahi: Political Class Controls Part of Lebanon’s Judiciary

Monday, 4 April, 2022 - 06:45
Patriarch Bechara Rahi during Sunday’s mass (NNA)

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi on Sunday lashed out at Lebanon’s judiciary, which he said is partly controlled by the political class and is therefore a tool used by statesmen to act against justice.

“There is increasing suspicions around Lebanon’s judicial activities,” Rahi said during Sunday’s mass sermon about the delay in the investigation into the 2020 explosion of the port of Beirut.

“Why has the judiciary not yet decided on the authority of the investigative judge to complete his investigations,” he asked.

The Patriarch said Lebanon has never witnessed a similar turmoil in the work of the judiciary.

Last week, Rahi accused the authority of imposing selective and biased judicial measures and of fabricating charges to postpone or annul the parliamentary elections scheduled next May.

On Sunday, the Patriarch again considered the elections an opportunity for people to change their reality for the better.

“Successful parliamentary elections are a guarantee of successful presidential elections, and thus a president will come who is able to get the country out of its crisis,” he said.

Rahi then urged the government to introduce financial and economic reforms.

The Patriarch considered that the clearest example of slow reforms is the Capital Control law, which political figures are trying to pass now that bank funds are empty.

“This law should have been passed at the start of the economic crisis in 2019 and not now,” Rahi stressed.

He said a Capital Control should be part of an integrated reform project, otherwise it becomes a bad decision that only harms depositors and prevents them from transferring or withdrawing money.

Rahi warned that the Capital Control law should be modified to suit the reality of Lebanon, its free economy and the people’s needs, otherwise it will end up isolating Lebanon from the global financial system, and will inflict a high price on depositors, investors, importers, exporters, expatriates and all economic sectors.

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