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Friday, 06 December 2019

Arab Bank asks for re-trial in US terror case

Arab Bank on Friday formally requested a re-trial from a US federal court in New York after a jury found the Jordan-based multinational liable for injuries in 24 Hamas attacks

AFP , Friday 10 Oct 2014
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The Arab bank rejected the September 22 verdict which caught the bank liable for injuries in several Hamas attacks, describing the verdict as "the inevitable consequence of a series of incorrect and prejudicial rulings" and called for a new trial "to correct this miscarriage of justice."

The case saw 300 US victims of 24 attacks carried out in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank between 2001 and 2004 hold the bank for liable for supporting terrorism by transferring funds to Hamas.

In court papers, the bank demanded a fair opportunity to defend itself and took issue with a litany of court rulings, instructions to the jury, and the admission and exclusion of evidence.

The trial aggregated evidence related to the attacks and thousands of transfers processed for hundreds of entities over a 10-year-period, the court filing said. The jury was given "a dizzying amount of evidence that doubtless muddled their deliberative process with regard to the bank's alleged liability," it added.

The September 22 jury verdict at a US federal court in Brooklyn against the bank, which has assets worth $46.4 billion, was the first major verdict under the 2001 anti-terrorism act.

The defense argued there was no evidence Arab Bank executives supported terrorism and rejected the allegation that the institution knowingly made payments to designated terrorists.

But the plaintiffs said the bank transferred more than $70 million to an alleged Saudi terror entity, charities they claim were a front for Hamas and 11 globally-designated terrorist clients.

Included was $60,000 transferred to Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004, due to a spelling mistake of his name, which was not detected by software.

The Arab Bank Group has more than 600 branches in 30 countries and a shareholders' equity base of $7.8 billion.

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