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Lebanon Probe Renews Push to Charge Top Officials for Port Blast

The judicial investigator probing last year’s devastating explosion at Beirut’s port is seeking to file negligence charges against several Lebanese lawmakers and top security officials, reprising a move which led to his predecessor stepping down.

Tarek Bitar said in an interview he’d asked parliament to lift the immunity of three of its members -- former Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, ex-Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter and Nouhad Mashnouq, a former interior minister. The three men, he said, had been officially notified during their tenures that a vast cargo of ammonium nitrate had been unloaded at the port in 2014, and failed to take measures to reduce the risk of an explosion.