Former Lebanon PM leaves for US hours after judge subpoenas him over Beirut blast

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Former Lebanese PM Hassan Diab was on his way to the US on Tuesday, according to media reports and his advisor.

The news surfaced hours after Lebanon’s judge tasked with investigating the 2020 Beirut blast issued a second subpoena over his role in the catastrophic explosion.

Diab’s advisor said he had scheduled this trip before the judge’s decision and that his kids are reportedly studying in the United States.

Diab stepped down days after the Beirut blast in August 2020 but stayed on as caretaker premier until last week.

While a caretaker PM, Diab was subpoenaed by the same judge who issued the order on Tuesday, but he refused to appear for questioning.

Lawmakers said the judge overstepped his limitations and refused to lift parliamentary immunity, which they claim is needed for a judge to question an official.

The date for Diab’s latest subpoena is set for next Monday.

Diab, formerly employed by the American University of Beirut (AUB), sued the university last year, claiming that he was owed severance pay and retirement funds. He was seeking over $1 million in the lawsuit, according to senior AUB officials.

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