Beirut blast: Lebanon Prime Minister, 3 ex-ministers charged with criminal negligence

Beirut: A Lebanese judge charged caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and three ex-ministers with criminal negligence over the explosion in Beirut`s port in August that killed more than 200 people.

According to CNN — while citing Lebanon`s state-owned National News Agency — Diab as well as two former public works ministers and an ex-minister were accused of criminal neglect “that led to the death and harm of hundreds of people” on August 4.

Judge Fadi Sawan, who is investigating the incident, is set to question Diab and the ex-ministers next week, it was reported further.

“The Prime Minister`s conscience is clear. He is confident that his hands are clean and that he has handled the Beirut Port blast file in a responsible and transparent manner,” read a statement from Diab`s office on Thursday. 

“Hassan Diab will not allow the Premiership to be targeted by any party.”

Diab`s government — which stepped down in the aftermath of the blasts — “repeatedly acknowledged” that receiving prior warnings about the dangers posed by the storage of explosive material on the port.

“Two of the ex-ministers indicted — former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil and former public works minister Youssef Fenianos — were recently sanctioned by the Trump administration for links to Hezbollah,” CNN reported.

The explosion killed more than 204 people and injured at least 6,500 people and displacing around 300,000 from their homes.

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