The bombing of the port and the relationship of public security

The bombing of the port and the relationship of public security
“Lebanon Debate” – Jawad Al Sayegh

The judicial investigator, Tariq Al-Bitar, does not envy the responsibility he assumes regarding the investigations related to the bombing of the Port of Beirut. On the one hand, he is supervising a case that shook Lebanon and destroyed parts of its capital, and on the other hand, he inherited a fireball from his predecessor, Fadi Sawan, who arrested most of those who listened to them before it was completed. remove him from his position.

Only two months were three days separated from the file, and Judge Al-Bitar issued a series of releases for Major in Public Security Charbel Fawaz, Major in State Security Joseph Al-Naddaf and employees Mikhael Al-Murr, Johnny Gerges, Elias Shaheen and Staff Sergeant Khaled Al-Khatib, while the decision to arrest officers continued. Others and port officials.

Public Security Major Charbel Fawaz came out, but the request for the release of the lieutenant colonel in the same apparatus – he was promoted to the rank of major during his arrest – Daoud Fayyad, was rejected, and is still raising questions about the powers entrusted to Public Security, and consequently the legality of Fayyad’s continued detention or not. As is well known, officers are fully committed to the responsibilities of the apparatus to which they belong, and are held accountable accordingly.

Fayyad, who was head of the Public Security Department in the port, assumed his position at the end of 2017, and learned about the presence of nitrates in the second month of 2018, and through his powers, he performed his duty by sending reports to the leadership, and he did not receive any instructions issued by the General Directorate For public security, thus negating any responsibility for him for violating decisions that he should have implemented or neglected to implement and that were a cause that led to the explosion on August 4th.

Fayyad carrying out his duties by sending reports and not receiving any instructions in this regard, leads to an important question, what are the powers and tasks of the public security in the port? What do decrees, organizational decisions, and instructions contain in this regard?

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In 1959, the President of the Republic, based on a proposal by the Minister of the Interior and with the approval of the Council of Ministers, issued a decree No. 2873 dealing with the structural systems and tasks of the General Directorate of Public Security, whether the central administration departments or the public security departments of the regions, which specified in Article V of it, the work of the Central Investigation Department in the General Directorate of Public Security as follows:
– Investigate political, economic and social information and everything related to Lebanon.
– Combating everything that affects security, by monitoring and prosecuting sabotage workers, advocates of chaos and unrest and rumor-mongers.
– In addition to the tasks of combating dissolved parties and secret societies, monitoring meetings and parties, and investigating information about the activities of bodies and associations.

Article 11 of the decree specifies the work of the public security departments in the regions and the Beirut Port Public Security Department in them as follows:

Each of the regions’ public security departments is in charge of:
– Investigate the information provided for in Article 5 of Decree 2873/1959, ie political, economic and social information on everything related to Lebanon.
– Combating espionage, monitoring and prosecuting sabotage workers and advocates of chaos and unrest, and other tasks related to individuals, parties, or licensed or dissolved associations.
Granting licenses to enter the forbidden areas of air and sea ports and to board ships, but in accordance with the permanent instructions issued by the Director of Public Security.

Instructions No. 5/ issued by the Director General of Public Security to codify the work of the General Security Department of the port within the work of the border departments and maritime centers in Public Security, in terms of determining the scope of their work and how to grant entry licenses to the harbor precincts, regulating the movement of ships and boats, visit permits, appointment and graduation of sailors and boarding to ships and to collect fees.

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The instructions in item 2/1 dealt with the tasks in detail and as follows:
– Each maritime border department or center must supervise the movement of all ships and boats to and from all beaches and ports within its scope of work and the persons inside this port in accordance with the provisions of these instructions, and therefore these tasks have limited the work of the port’s public security to the movement of all ships and boats to and from the beaches And all ports within the scope of their work and the people inside these ports, and these instructions did not refer to the role and tasks of public security with regard to goods.

Therefore, according to the law, the officers of the agency must fully comply with Decree 2873 and the implementing instructions issued by Instructions No. 5/ and the orders issued by the Director General of Public Security in what deviates from the content of Decree 2873 and Instructions No. 5.

Despite the decree and the clear instructions, some are inquiring about the responsibility of Public Security in the Beirut explosion case and the issue of ammonium nitrate in terms of maintaining security in warehouses and wards. This inquiry is related to what was stated in Resolution No. 1/31 dated 26/1/1966 issued by the Minister of Public Works and Transport at the time, related to the provisions of the Lebanese ports and ports system and what was stated in it in terms of Article 139 on the subject of guarding ships.

Here it should be noted that this system issued by the Minister of Works in 1966 did not find any application for it at the General Directorate of Public Security since its issuance. As the General Directorate of Public Security did not deal with him and did not abide by it and did not issue any decisions or instructions based on it, and this decision is legally void with regard to public security, as its powers are determined by a decree in which the tasks and powers of public security were determined and limited to it, with regard to the movement of ships The authority of its entry and exit and the persons on board, without giving the General Security any authority with regard to the goods that fall within the authority of the port presidency. This decision was also implicitly canceled by the law organizing the General Directorate of Customs when it limited the responsibility of customs warehouses and wards to customs and the presidency of the port of Beirut.

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It should also be recalled that the legislative decree issued by the Presidency of the Republic with the approval of the Council of Ministers has a mandatory executive force that cancels the ministerial decision issued by the Minister of Public Works, and therefore the decision of the Minister of Public Works, who is not a guardianship minister of public security, did not find application in the regulations, laws and decisions It was also implicitly nullified by the issuance of Decree 2873, which was issued several years after Resolution 1/31 and the issuance of the decree related to customs.

So, according to Law and Decree No. 2873, along with the instructions of the apparatus to which the arrested officer belongs, Public Security has no authority to supervise the wards, and therefore it cannot be held responsible for negligence or negligence. When will Judge Al-Bitar take his decision to release the arrested Lieutenant Colonel Daoud Fayyad?

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