|09-24-2014, 03:57 PM||#1|
Arab Bank Found Liable For Offering Financial Aid To Hamas
Jordan’s largest financial institution, Arab Bank Plc was found liable by a U.S. jury verdict earlier this week for providing assistance to Hamas under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The Arab Bank looks guilty! It took less than two days of deliberations for jurors to reach their verdict after a six-week trial in a Brooklyn federal court. Lawyers said it was the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the U.S.
The lawsuit was filed in 2004 in behalf of 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of attacks linked to Hamas. The suit accused the Arab Bank of violating U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that allows victims of U.S. designated foreign terrorist organizations to seek damages.
The U.S. court ruled the lender must compensate victims of two dozen attacks attributed to Hamas. The Arab Bank had argued that they had no way of knowing where the funds were transferred to.
However, the Arab Bank said it will appeal, citing “scores of errors” in the trial, and issued a statement arguing that many aspects of the trial were deeply flawed. Jordan’s central bank expressed its support to the Arab Bank late Tuesday, saying the lender had been unable to defend itself adequately.
The court ruling for this trial and a series of recent proposals from the U.S. Treasury indicates a growing burden on banking institutions to conduct better tracking of their customers.
Several lawsuits similar are pending in New York against Bank of China Ltd and Credit Lyonnais SA; both are accused for providing services to terrorist groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas, respectively.
The increasing pressure on financial institutions that do not thoroughly know their clients could discourage banks from operating in some vulnerable countries in the world.
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