Al-Rahi calls on Bitar to continue his work, seek int'l help
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday threw his support behind the embattled Beirut port blast investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, calling on him to “continue his work” despite the recusal lawsuits and the latest judicial standoff.
“We hope that Judicial Investigator Judge Tarek Bitar will continue his work to unveil the truth and issue the indictment,” al-Rahi said in his Sunday Mass sermon, asking Bitar to “seek the assistance of any international authority that might help in uncovering the truth.”
Al-Rahi also lamented that “the meetings of judicial bodies are witnessing a lack of quorum, with judges and public prosecutors defying the Higher Judicial Council and its head and refraining from attending the meetings.”
“This is unacceptable! The judiciary has its mechanism and hierarchy,” the patriarch added.
“Judges are rebelling against their authorities instead of rebelling against politicians. They are overbidding against each other, impeding the investigations of each other, releasing suspects en masse and arresting the relatives of the port victims,” al-Rahi decried, in an apparent jab at some judges, especially at State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat.
He added: “They are undermining the norms of raiding, summoning and subpoenaing; reversing their rulings; bowing to those who have influence; violating sovereign laws; breaching the investigations’ confidentiality in front of foreign nations before knowing their true motives; implicating themselves in plots of grudges and vengeance; showing strength against the weak; showing weakness toward the strong; and smuggling foreign (dual national) detainees.”
“We will not allow the port bombing crime to go without punishment, no matter how much time passes and how many rulers change,” al-Rahi vowed.