(Photo credit: Tehran Times)
On 16 November, Lebanese media reported that the judge in charge of the investigation into last month’s massacre in the Tayouneh neighborhood in Beirut has ordered the release of eight suspects in the case.
According to Al-Akhbar, among those released by Judge Fadi Sawan is Gilbert Marassidian, who witnesses say was responsible for luring supporters of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah parties into Ain El-Remmaneh street, where members of an armed militia allied with the far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party awaited them.
Others released on Tuesday are four suspects who admitted to army intelligence that they had been ordered by LF leadership to monitor the headquarters of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party in the area in anticipation of the violence.
Another notable release by Judge Sawan is a member of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), who was arrested after it was discovered that he had left his post to join the LF sympathizers attacking the peaceful demonstrators.
According to Al-Akhbar’s sources, Judge Sawan is also expected to sidestep summoning LF leader Samir Geagea, who, according to army intelligence, may have been involved in the planning of the massacre.
Geagea has previously refused to answer questions about his involvement in the 14 October massacre, which left seven dead and dozens injured after an LF militia ambushed protesters against the politicization of the Port of Beirut blast investigation.
Meanwhile, concerns are increasing in Lebanon about Sawan’s role in possibly giving a free pass to those responsible for the Tayouneh massacre. According to experts, the judge might be working in bad faith against both Hezbollah and the Amal Movement after their respective parliament members successfully removed him as the lead of the Port of Beirut blast investigation earlier this year.