Judge Joyce Akiki Proves Best Hope Lebanon Has is Good Judges

Lebanon’s current political stalemate is so bad, that Annahar just gave up on trying to write anything and just published a blank few pages today. The country’s not just bankrupt, it’s hopelessly indebted. What are our sad, incompetent, thin-skinned politicians doing? Fighting over which cabinets their minister get to suck dry out of every last penny and hire their unqualified, corrupt goons making our country bankrupt.

Earlier this week, on Hawa El Horriyeh on LBCI, Joe Maalouf teamed up with Salem Zahran to bring forward documents and evidence of a massive corruption scandal between a Lebanese Customs Supreme Council member (Gracia Azzi) and a Customs trustee (George Akoury).

Endless phone calls and unprecedented pressure came from almost every side, which is a first, cause usually political parties and “influential” figures never unite over anything, except for covering their tracks it seems…

The team pushed through and the evidence was presented to the public on TV on Monday night, then delivered on Tuesday morning to the General Prosecutor of Mount Lebanon, Judge Ghada Aoun, who has begun her in-depth investigation.

As expected, Gracia Azzi tried to shut the show down by filing an urgent request to Judge Joyce Akiki for an injunction, and to remove the case from the show and to never talk about it again.

Today, we were extremely delighted to see that Judge Joyce Akiki refused the injunction request by Azzi, citing “freedom of the press” and “right to access to information” in a much welcome change to the position many other judges sadly take in favor of the powers that be, instead of the media and taxpayers.

Here’s the beautifully worded decision by Judge Joyce Akiki

The amazing thing was that the judge used the Lebanese Constitution articles and preamble to defend the right to free speech, and insisted that that is the main mission of the press: to unearth law breaking and let the public know, so that the government and judiciary acts.

I wish more judges follow the lead of Judge Akiki, who used our laws and constitution to defend freedom of expression, instead of twist it and ignore important parts of it to do the bidding of corrupt, influential people in this country.

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