US restores Saudi Arabia in 9/11 lawsuit

2013-12-20 07:43

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - A US appeals court reinstated Saudi Arabia as a defendant Thursday in lawsuits claiming it had provided support to al-Qaida prior to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said restoring Saudi Arabia was necessary to be consistent with a ruling by a different 2nd Circuit panel that allowed another lawsuit to go forward in which a man sued Afghanistan and other defendants for the death of his wife in the attacks.

The 2nd Circuit and a lower court had previously ruled that Saudi Arabia was protected by sovereign immunity, which generally means that foreign countries can't be sued in American courts.

But in its latest ruling, the 2nd Circuit said a legal exception existed that would allow Saudi Arabia to remain as a defendant, just as Afghanistan remained in the similar case.

An attorney representing Saudi Arabia said the panel's decision is "contrary to settled law" and will only result in a lower court throwing the case out for other reasons, citing the dismissal of identical allegations against other Saudi government agencies that the 2nd Circuit itself already upheld.

"It is extremely unfortunate and burdensome that a sovereign nation and ally of the United States will continue to have to litigate this matter more than 10 years after it was filed," said attorney Michael Kellogg.

The lawsuits were brought in 2002 and afterward against countries, companies and organizations accused of aiding al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. They sought billions of dollars in damages.

Panel’s decision

In the lawsuits, lawyers argued that the 11 September 2001 attacks had been planned for years by a network of Islamic militants with the assistance of banks, governments and individuals.

Lawyers in the 11 September cases have frequently cited the report by the September 11 Commission. Lawyers for the plaintiffs have said the commission supported their argument that Saudi Arabia had long been considered the primary source of al-Qaeda funding while lawyers for Saudi Arabia have argued that the commission found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qaeda.

Kellogg said the panel's decision has nothing to do with the merits of the plaintiffs' claims.

"The government of Saudi Arabia has long asserted, and the United States 9/11 Commission has found, that those allegations are categorically false," Kellogg said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately return messages for comment.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  saudi arabia  |  us  |  september 11 attacks

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.