Sayles Werbner Wins Key Appeals Ruling in Arab Bank Terror Victims Case
NEW YORK – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit today issued a ruling that will allow a group of terrorism victims to continue their lawsuit against Jordan-based Arab Bank over claims that the bank and its New York branch served as catalysts for financing worldwide terrorism activities.
Attorney Mark Werbner of Dallas’ Sayles Werbner is among a group of lawyers representing the terrorism victims.
“We are extremely pleased that the 2nd Circuit has cleared the way for our clients to go to trial on behalf of their loved ones who suffered severe injuries and lost their lives as a result of terrorist acts,” says Mr. Werbner. “Arab Bank should be held accountable for its role in terrorism, and my clients are looking forward to presenting their evidence before a judge and jury.”
The 2nd Circuit’s decision upholds an earlier ruling issued by Judge Nina Gershon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, which held 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 appeals court also upheld Judge Gershon’s prior ruling 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.
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 alleged 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.
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