Richmond Times-Dispatch

Lebanese judge charges PM in August port explosion

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BEIRUT— The Lebanese prosecutor probing last summer’s port explosion in Beirut filed charges on Thursday against the caretaker prime minister and three former ministers, accusing them of negligence that led to the death of hundreds of people, Lebanon’s official news agency said.

Judge Fadi Sawwan, the prosecutor responsibl­e for the investigat­ion, filed the charges against Hassan Diab and former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, as well as Ghazi Zeiter and Youssef Fenianos, both former ministers of public works.

All four were charged with carelessne­ss and negligence leading to death over the Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut’s port, which killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.

The explosion was caused by the ignition of a large stockpile of explosive material that had been stored at the port for six years, with the knowledge of top security officials and politician­s who did nothing about it.

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