Public Actions

Mount Lebanon judge indicts 30 people in tainted fuel case

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Mount Lebanon Investigative judge indicted 30 people Friday in relation to the case of the imported tainted fuel.

The indictment issued vy Mount Lebanon’s First Investigative Judge Nicolas Mansour included the Director General of oil installations Sarkis Hleis, Director General of the Petroleum Directorate at the Energy Ministry Aurore Feghali, representative of Sonatrach Tarek Fawal, ZR Energy director Teddy Rahme, and employees and technicians who work at the ministry, oil installations and laboratories.

They face charges that include bribery, fraud, forgery of documents and wasting public funds.

The case took Lebanon by storm back in May when it was revealed that the country had received a shipment of tainted fuel onboard the ship “Baltic” from Sonatrach, the Algerian state company with whom Lebanon has signed a contract for fuel imports since 2005.

The offices of ZR Energy, one of the two companies that import gasoline and fuel oil on behalf of Lebanon, were also raided and shut down in May.

Lebanon has been experiencing extended power cuts and blackouts across many areas as a shortage of fuel has reduced the operational capacity of power plants and electricity generators alike.

The tainted fuel shipment, which had been earmarked for power plants, could not be used to generate electricity and therefore has been the main cause of these blackouts.

With the arrival of a new shipment of fuel for electricity, power rationing will decrease. However, the usual power cuts Lebanese are accustomed to will remain.

The dysfunctional electricity sector drains around $2 billion from the state budget every year and its reform is a key condition in securing international aid for Lebanon.


Acting Bodies: 
Judicial bodies (cassation courts, constitutional council, military courts…)
Judicial Decisions
Approved/ Ratified
Civil Society Response: 
Not applicable