William Noun, Peter Bou Saab Summoned by Police for 'Vandalism'

William Noun and Peter Bou Saab, whose relatives were killed in the August 4, 2020, Beirut port explosion, were summoned for questioning on Friday on charges of "vandalism," their lawyer confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour.

On Thursday, a dozen relatives of the blast victims demonstrated outside the Beirut courthouse. Some of them, including Noun and Bou Saab, burned tires, according to our reporter on the scene. 

Noun and Bou Saab are asked to appear at the Verdun police station in Beirut at 10 a.m. on June 7, according to their lawyer Ralph Tannous. The summons was ordered by Judge Ziad Abi Haidar, the attorney general at the Beirut Court of Appeal.

Tannous pointed out that, "under Lebanese law, burning tires during demonstrations is considered an act of vandalism."

Noun and Bou Saab confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour that they will answer the summons and will be accompanied by relatives of the victims, who will continue the demonstration.

Judge Abi Haidar will decide whether to release or detain Noun and Bou Saab after their interrogation, explained Tannous.

"We will respect the decision of Judge Abi Haidar," he said.

William Noun and Peter Bou Saab were previously summoned and released by the State Security Department in March 2022 for tagging slogans on the door of caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury's home.

Several high-ranking political and security officials are being prosecuted as part of the investigation into the port explosion. However, they refuse to appear before Judge Tarek Bitar, who is charged with the investigation.

Relatives of blast victims regularly criticize the lack of progress in the investigation, which has been frozen since last February and is facing interference from politicians and judges.