Beirut blast: Lebanon victims file almost 700 legal complaints

Beirut blast: Lebanon victims file almost 700 legal complaints

 

The Beirut Bar Association on Wednesday handed the public prosecutor almost 700 criminal complaints from victims of the city’s deadly August 4 port blast, Lebanon’s National News Agency said.

The explosion of a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate in a dockside warehouse killed more than 200 people, wounded thousands and ravaged swathes of the capital Beirut.

“We presented 679 complaints today, in the name of the families of those killed, wounded and affected,” Bar Association head Melhem Khalaf said, according to the NNA.

“We cannot stop until a verdict is pronounced,” Khalaf said, calling the blast “a horrific catastrophe.”

It was the first wave of complaints to be filed of around 1,400 cases being compiled by the Bar Association.

“We need to go deep with the ongoing investigations,” Khalaf added.

The blast was the country’s worst peacetime disaster.

It reignited popular outrage against the political class, after it emerged officials had known the ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely at the port for years.

Lebanese officials have rejected an international probe, despite demands both from home and abroad for an impartial investigation.

A local investigation has led to the arrest of at least 25 suspects, including the chief of the port and its customs director.

Experts from France and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation took part in the preliminary investigation.

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