(Paris) The investigation into the deadly explosions in the port of Beirut will take time, warned Lebanese President Michel Aoun, at the head of a power conspired by part of public opinion, in an interview broadcast on Saturday by the French news channel BFMTV.
Posted on 15 August 2020 at 15 h 46
France Media Agency
The explosions of August 4 in the port of Beirut left 95 dead and more than 6500 injured, devastating entire districts of the capital and fueling the anger of a large part of the Lebanese, for whom this catastrophe too many comes once again to illustrate the negligence of ‘a political class accused of corruption and incompetence.
The Lebanese authorities have opened an investigation and appointed judge Fadi Sawan to lead it. Nearly 20 people, officials from the port and the customs administration, have been arrested in connection with the investigation, and ministers are also due to be heard from next week.
“There is no delay in the investigation, but we need time to know the truth because it is complex”, indicated President Aoun, who spoke in Arabic at the microphone of BFMTV , and whose comments were reported by the official account of the Lebanese presidency.
Members of the American Federal Police (FBI) are due to arrive in Beirut this weekend to take part in the investigation at the invitation of the Lebanese, just as France is providing logistical support with investigative resources and dispatched police and search teams.
The number three of American diplomacy David Hale pleaded Saturday for a “transparent, complete and credible” investigation into the explosions.
The Lebanese president added that no hypothesis was ruled out to explain the explosions. On August 7, he was the first Lebanese official not to dismiss the thesis of “external action, with a missile or a bomb”.
The Head of State, aged 85 years, had assured to have personally asked the French President Emmanuel Macron “aerial images” to determine “if there were planes in (air) space or missiles” at the time of the explosions.
“If these images are not available from the French, we will ask other countries”, he assured.
The tragedy originates from an explosion in a warehouse where, according to the authorities, 2020 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored for six years , “Without precautionary measures” by the admission of the resigning Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
The whole Republic was aware of the presence in the middle of the capital of such a quantity of chemicals and of its dangers, according to some officials and security sources.
French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a “transparent” international investigation, but President Aoun has already spoken out against this option.