Monday, September 22, 2014

22-Sep-14: Arab Bank found liable today for knowingly supporting terrorism

A major legal decision has just been announced in the Arab Bank litigation:
Arab Bank Found Guilty of Supporting Terrorist | By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD | New York Times | SEPT. 22, 2014 
A federal jury on Monday found that Arab Bank was liable for knowingly supporting terrorist efforts that were connected to 24 attacks in the Middle East. The closely watched case, in New York City, was the first civil case brought against a bank under the Anti-Terrorism Act to go to trial, and the verdict was expected to have a broad impact on similar legal efforts to hold financial institutions responsible for wrongdoing by their clients, even if the institutions had followed banking rules. 
Arab Bank, a major Middle Eastern bank with $46 billion in assets, said that it followed compliance procedures, and that any transactions conducted on behalf of terrorists were executed in error. 
The plaintiffs in this case, about 300 victims of terrorist attacks in and around Israel, said that the attacks had been carried out by Hamas, and accused Arab Bank of supporting the organization by handling transfers and payments for Hamas members. 
The burden of proof was high: The plaintiffs had to prove that the terrorist attacks were indeed conducted by Hamas, and that the bank’s support of Hamas was the “proximate cause” of the events. In addition, the plaintiffs had to demonstrate that their injuries were “reasonably foreseeable” as a consequence of the bank’s acts. 
After 10 years of litigation and a five-week trial, the jury apparently found that the plaintiffs met the legal threshold, and ruled that the bank was liable. A separate hearing will be held to determine damages.
More details when we know. Meanwhile there's some background here ["9-Aug-14: Terrorism financing case against a bank due to go to trial this week in New York"]

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