Lebanon Update

Lebanese lawyers have sued a chemical company registered in the United Kingdom in the High Court of London, accusing the company of playing an important role in a large-scale explosion in Beirut port last year, which caused more than 200 deaths.

This month, the Beirut Bar Association and four others filed a lawsuit against Savaro Ltd, including an explosion survivor and the families of two victims. It claimed that the chemical company failed to properly store or dispose of the hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that exploded on August 4 last year, causing one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history.

The lawyers said that the case was to hold the person allegedly responsible for the explosion responsible. The explosion destroyed a large area of ​​Beirut, killed at least 218 people, injured thousands of others, and caused approximately US$4 billion in damage to the Lebanese capital.

The families of the victims are increasingly pinning their hopes on international investigations and justice for them because they accuse Lebanon’s ruling elites of obstructing domestic investigations.

The case was filed in London because Savaro was listed as a chemical wholesaler and registered in the UK. Lawyers are seeking damages from the company, although these will be quantified later.

The legal challenge argued that Savaro owns 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which was shipped to an explosives company in Mozambique in 2013. In 2014, in accordance with the instructions of the Lebanese court, the aging ship and the chemical materials used for explosives that sank in the port of Beirut were unloaded to the port warehouse in 2014 to southern Africa.

Richard Slade (Richard Slade), an attorney at the law firm of the same name representing Savaro, stated that the chemical company “never had a transaction” and was not involved in the transaction mentioned in the claim.

Slade said the company will defend it “in due course.” A new Savaro director, Ukrainian lawyer Volodymyr Hliadchenko, was appointed on Friday, who said he “acquired corporate ownership of the company”.

The lawsuit was led by the former Lebanese Minister of Labor, Camille Abousleiman and Dejie Law Firm, a partner of Dejie Law Firm.

Abousleiman told the Financial Times that he believes that Savaro is the owner of ammonium nitrate, so according to Lebanese law, Savaro is responsible for its proper storage, disposal, and any damage caused by it.

Absleyman said: “The victim and the surviving family members of the victim believe that anyone who was directly or indirectly responsible for the explosion, whether criminal or civil, should be brought to justice.” “I think it is. In this particularly terrible situation, no one should escape legal sanctions.”

one Financial Times Investigation Last year, it was discovered that Savaro had inquired about the goods in 2015, but after learning from a report issued by the Lebanese court that more than half of the bags containing ammonium nitrate were damaged, the Financial Times could not confirm the Has the company taken further action?

Since its establishment in 2006, Savaro has often filed accounts as a “dormant” company.

“We are very confident that we will have evidence to prove who the beneficial owners are,” Abousleiman said last week, adding that he is seeking to include them in the claim. “We hope to bring this person to justice in England as part of the current operation or otherwise.” He declined to comment on the newly announced owner.

Slade declined to comment on Savarro’s ownership.

The company tried to start the liquidation process in January, but the process has been stopped due to litigation.

Absleyman said that other potential defendants can be traced.

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