After the Beirut port blast last year, the prospect of a failed investigation — let alone two —into responsibility for that monstrous explosion would have provoked global incredulity. More than 200 people died when hundreds of tons of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer caught fire in a port warehouse, and exploded.
Lebanon is grappling with a deep economic crisis after successive governments piled up debt following the 1975-1990 civil war with little to show for their spending binge. Banks, central to the service-oriented economy, are paralysed. Savers have been locked out of dollar accounts or told funds they can access are worth less. The currency has crashed, driving a swathe of the population into poverty.