Rear View – Lebanon in review (29 August 2021)
26 August: Three people charged for Akkar explosion
Judge Fadi Akiki, the Federal Court Acting Government Commissioner, has charged George Ibrahim, Ali Sobhi, and Gerge Elias Ibrahim with the explosion of a fuel tank in the village of Tleil. George Ibrahim and Ali Sobhi face temporary hard labour, while Gerge Ibrahim faces life imprisonment. The explosion killed 31 people.
Judge Akiki charged George Ibrahim and Ali Sobhi with “unsafely storing inflammable materials, anticipating their actions would have deadly consequences, and endangering the lives of citizens.”.
Gerge Elias Ibrahim was charged with starting the fire that led to the Akkar Explosion.
27 August: Mikati: “Give us a candle”
Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, has said that significant hurdles still prevent him from forming a government. He told television network Al Hadath that the situation in Lebanon was grave.
Mikati is the third Prime Minister-designate tasked with creating a government since last year.
When questioned about the fuel shipment that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claims is incoming from Iran, Mikati said that he was opposed to anything that could harm Lebanon.
“We won’t allow anyone to push us into new sanctions,” he stated. “In response to critics and the Arab League, I say, Give us a candle; we can’t refuse the shipment without having an alternative.”
27 August: Iran’s third fuel shipment to Hezbollah approved
A third Iranian fuel vessel has been approved to be shipped to Lebanon to ease the crippling fuel shortages, says Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Earlier last week, Nasrallah announced that Iran had already dispatched its first vessel to carry its fuel to Lebanon.
Hezbollah’s opponents in Lebanon have warned the purchase will bring sanctions, which will have catastrophic consequences for a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years.
The worsening fuel shortages in Lebanon reached a crisis point this month, threatening to halt daily life in the country. Nasrallah also urged top politicians to form an interim government immediately instead of continuing to argue over names for the future Cabinet.
27 August: PM Diab subpoenaed by Judge Bitar
Chief Investigator Judge Tarek Bitar has subpoenaed Prime Minister Hassan Diab to appear on September 20th for questioning about the Beirut Port explosion, after the PM failed to show up to court last week.
Al-Jadeed reports that in summoning Diab, Bitar rejected the Lebanese Premiership’s General Secretariat’s claim that Bitar had no power to question the former PM.
The caretaker PM, who resigned shortly after the August 4th Beirut Port Explosion last year, was charged alongside three former ministers in December, in relation to the blast. After defendants submitted their legal defences, Judge Bitar resumed his investigation last week and was set to question Diab as a defendant.
Last week, Bitar conducted a simulation of the explosion. The event was attended by several lawyers representing concerned parties a joint committee of army officers, the Information Division of the Internal Security Forces, the Lebanese Meteorological Department and was supervised by the Civil Defense. No media attended the simulation.
27 August: Infant found alive inside garbage bag in Beirut
In the Beirut neighbourhood of Dora/Bourj Hammoud, passers-by found an infant inside a black garbage bag. The baby was left next to a pile of rubbish under a bridge. A crowd soon gathered to take care of the child.
This is the latest in a tragic list of examples of how dire the situation in Lebanon has become.
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