Thursday, December 11, 2014
Arab Bank to Face Damages Trial for Hamas Attacks; A jury will determine in May how much money Arab Bank owes in damages to the victims of the Hamas terror attacks they funded.
Arabwill face a in May to determine how much money it owes in damages to victims of Hamas terrorist attacks in , a court order stated.
In September a federal jury found Arab Bank liable for providing material support to Hamas in two dozen attacks attributed to group. Nearly 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks were plaintiffs in the suit.
At that trial, the plaintiffs argued that the Jordanian-based bank violated the Anti-Terrorism Act - a law which allows victims of US-deemed terrorist organizations to seek damages.
Arab Bank was accused of maintaining accounts for Hamas operatives, andmillions in payments for of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the Second Intifada.
The plaintiffs' lawyers provided a mountain of evidence including proof of each terror attack and thousands of transfers processed for hundreds of entities over a ten-year-period.
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.
On Wednesday, United States District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn, New York, scheduled jury selection for May 18 for a damages trial involving the claims of 17 of the 310 American complainants.
Arab Bank, who in September appealed the initial verdict of their culpability, plan to appeal this trial as well. Judge Cogan has yet to rule on if he will allow Arab Bank to appeal prior to final judgements in the damages case.
At a November hearing, Cogan expressed interest in a bellwether trial - a trial in which a widely contested issue is ruled on - so that if he were to be affirmed on appeal, a settlement might occur.
Meanwhile, Gary Osen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he looked forward to a damages trial where he would be able to convey "to a jury some measure of the grief and loss experienced by American terror victims as a result of Arab Bank knowingly providing tens of millions of dollars to Hamas."
In a statement, Arab Bank said it hopes "the court will be as expeditious in approving the bank's path to appeal as it has been in ordering a very complex damages proceeding to be completed under an extraordinarily compressed timeframe."