Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Lebanon's Former PM Leaves to US Despite Subpoena over Beirut Blast

Tue 14 Sep 2021 | 11:33 PM

On Tuesday, Lebanon’s former prime minister, Hassan Diab, left the country for the United States, according to statements released by his advisor.

This comes despite a subpoena from the judge investigating last year’s devastating explosion at Beirut port.

Diab was the country’s prime minister when the explosion happened on Aug. 4, 2020. He resigned after the blast that killed over 200 people and injured over 6,000, leaving the large parts of the city devastated.

He was caretaker prime minister until last week, when Najib Mikati successfully formed a new government, ending months of political haggling.

As caretaker prime minister, Diab was summoned by investigative judge Tarek Bitar on accusations of intentional killing and negligence. Diab declined to be interrogated as a defendant, saying he had given his testimony in the case. Diab holds that the judges investigating the case have violated Lebanese laws that require that as a senior government official he can only be summoned after the parliament approves.

When Diab failed to show up last month for investigation, Bitar issued a subpoena and the new date for questioning was set for next Monday.

On Tuesday, Bitar issued a new subpoena to include his home address after he stepped down from the premiership.


“He has nothing new to say,” said Laila Hatoum, Diab’s advisor. “He considers that he has nothing to do with all that until the parliament decides the course of action.”