Lebanese court removes judge from Beirut port blast probe: lawyer

FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut’s port area, Lebanon August 4, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Lebanese court decided on Thursday to remove investigating judge Fadi Sawan from the Beirut port blast probe, Youssef Lahoud, the lawyer who represents around 1,400 victims of the explosion, told Reuters.

Judge Fadi Sawan had charged three ex-ministers and caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab with negligence over the huge explosion, the largest non-nuclear blast in history, that occurred on Aug. 4 and further exacerbated strains on a country struggling with its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Several politicians had criticised Sawan after the charges, saying he was selective and had overstepped his powers.

Reporting By Ellen Francis; writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Gareth Jones

source: reuters.com