Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said Saturday that he would exert all efforts to place the country on the path to a functional and impartial judicial system.
“I reassure the Lebanese that we are on the right track to have a functional judiciary,” the minister said during the First Judicial Conference held by the Higher Judiciary Council. “I do not claim that the judicial body is clear from gaps and flows but I reassure the Lebanese that we have elite workers, too, and these elite cover all the present gaps."
Rifi said that he aspired to speed up the trials of convicted inmates in Roumieh Prison, a crucial issue facing the judiciary system.
He added his second main concern was “the terrible prison conditions” and said the administration of jails should be returned to the Justice Ministry.
“The administration of jails was handed in temporarily to the Interior Ministry in 1949, but the temporary stage persists until now and the management of jails should be handed back to the Justice Ministry,” he said.
The minister said that he would work to reform the judicial system even though his term was short, promising that he was doing his best to fulfill his mission.
“I tell the Lebanese we are really in a state of alert and all judges are aware to what is required of them and to the needs of people, and hopefully we will fulfill them,” he said.
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