Lebanese President Michel Aoun told the country’s public prosecutor Friday that he was ready to give a statement about last year’s port blast in the capital Beirut if needed.
“No one is above the law no matter how high up, and justice can only be achieved through the specialized judicial branches that provide guarantees,” Aoun told prosecutor Ghassan Ouidat during a meeting, according to a statement released by the president’s office.
The August 4 explosion at the port, caused by a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely for years, claimed the lives of over 200 people, injured thousands and destroyed large swathes of the capital city.
A probe into the blast led by Judge Tarek Bitar has been hindered over the past month as requests sent to parliament and the government to lift immunity and enable questioning of several top officials were either declined or stalled.
Many Lebanese nationals are angry that nearly a year after the incident, no senior official has yet been held responsible.
In the same respect, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Thursday the legislature was ready to lift the immunity of its members to allow for questioning but did not detail when or how this would be done.