Jul 13

Sayles Werbner Says Arab Bank Ruling Will Benefit Victims

NEW YORK – Attorney Mark Werbner of Dallas’ Sayles Werbner says terrorism victims will benefit from a sanctions ruling issued yesterday in the ongoing lawsuit against Arab Bank over claims that the bank and its New York branch served as catalysts for financing worldwide terrorism activities.

Judge Nina Gershon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that jurors will be instructed that they may infer that Arab Bank willfully and knowingly provided financial services to organizations designated by the United States as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The court also ruled that jurors may infer that Arab Bank processed and distributed payments to terrorists on behalf of the Saudi Committee to Support the Intifada Al Quds.

"This ruling is an important turning point in this long-running terror financing case,” says Mr. Werbner, lead counsel for many of the victims. “It clears the way for a jury trial in Brooklyn and represents a landmark ruling for Americans injured or killed by international terrorism."

The original lawsuit, Courtney Linde, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 04 CV 2799, was filed in 2004 under the 1990 Anti-Terrorism Act. Currently, more than 100 families and 700 individuals in the Linde case and related cases are seeking more than $1 billion in damages based on Arab Bank’s role in financially supporting terrorist activities.

The plaintiffs claim that Arab Bank provided “systematic” financial support to the families of all Palestinian terrorists killed, injured or incarcerated since the start of the Al-Aqsa (Second) Intifada in the Fall of 2000. Specially, the plaintiffs say Arab Bank administered a terrorist death-and-dismemberment insurance scheme that allowed families of so-called “martyrs” to collect financial payments by registering with the bank.

The U.S. Treasury Department previously fined Arab Bank’s New York branch $24 million for its “systemic” failure to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, a government law designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The sanctions ruling issued yesterday is based on the bank’s failure to comply with discovery obligations in the ongoing lawsuit.

Sayles Werbner has an international reputation as a "go to" trial law firm in multifaceted business litigation, intellectual property, patent litigation, life-altering personal injury cases, product safety lawsuits and other areas of the law. 

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